Marketing of alcoholic beverages

Alcohol is promoted through a wide range of different media including television, radio, newspapers and billboards. It’s increasingly present in sport, music festivals, social media, clothing, and through discreet commercial marketing techniques. solutions Marketing The amount of money spent on alcohol promotion in Australia by the liquor industry has been estimated at around $1 billion dollars a year. Evidence tells us that the promotion and marketing of alcohol has an impact on young people in terms of their attitudes towards drinking, when they start drinking and drinking at harmful levels. The promotion of alcohol is not confined to TV or the printed press, but includes social media as well. Alcohol promotion and marketing affects the attitudes and beliefs that young people hold about alcohol and how it will enhance their lives. Imagery and marketing are purposefully used in advertising to engage with young people to help them form and communicate their identity.
Ways marketing of alcoholic drinks can be regulated to reduce alcohol-related harm: 
  • regulating the content and volume of marketing
  • regulating the direct and indirect marketing in all media (this includes social media)
  • regulating the sponsorship activities that promote alcohol
  • restricting or banning promotions in connection with activities targeting young people
  • regulating new forms of alcohol marketing techniques (e.g. social media)
  • developing effective surveillance systems of alcohol product marketing
  • setting up effective deterrence for infringements on marketing restrictions.
Alcohol promotion in Australia

Currently in Australia, alcohol advertising is not directly legislated. Rather, self-regulation codes exist to protect consumers from promotions that encourage rapid or excessive drinking, or portray positive personal, social, business, sporting or sexual outcomes. Suggestions have been made that an effective regulatory system could be established by strengthening restrictions around the volume and content of alcohol promotions, and establishing an independent regulatory body with a complaints system and effective penalties for those breaching the regulation.

Our sources

Information in this section has been drawn and adapted from the following sources:
  • Babor T, Caetano R, Casswell S, Edwards G, Giesbrecht N, Graham K, Grube J, Hill L, Holder H, Homel R, Livingston M, Osterberg E, Rehm J, Room R, & Rossow I, 2010. Alcohol: No Ordinary Commodity. Second Edition, New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Wagenaar AC, Salois MJ, Komro KA, 2009, Effects of beverage alcohol price and tax levels on drinking: a meta-analysis of 1003 estimates from 112 studies, Addiction, vol. 104, no. 2, pp.179-190. Available from:
  • Wardle J. 2015, Price-based promotions of alcohol: Legislative consistencies and inconsistencies across the Australian retail, entertainment and media sectors, International Journal of Drug Policy, vol. 26, pp. 522-530. Available from: