Live broadcasts of One Day International and T20 matches are being
hijacked by alcohol advertisers that are exploiting an exemption in the
television broadcasting code and exposing young cricket fans to excessive
amounts of alcohol advertising in the process.
A report by Cancer Council Victoria and the University of Wollongong reveals
that viewers were exposed to more than 4600 incidents of alcohol promotion, during
three of the five One Day International (ODI) cricket games in the 2013/14 season.
This included ads during commercial breaks, fixed and electronic banner signage
within the stadium, live announcements, broadcast sponsorship announcements,
logos on players' uniforms and team banners, among other marketing tactics.
The research also reveals that during one of the T20 games
analysed, one in every four ads shown was for an alcohol product or retailer.
At the height of the ICC Cricket World Cup, Cancer Council
Victoria is calling for action to address the amount of alcohol advertising in
sport, starting with removing the exemption in the Commercial Television
Industry Code of Practice. Currently the code allows alcohol advertising during
live sports broadcasts, at times when it would otherwise be banned.
Alcohol advertising during analysed games of the cricket summer series
8 hours 47 minutes
1 hour 36 minutes
10 hours 40 minutes
*Note not every game in the series was analysed.
"Alcohol promotion during live sports broadcasts is a major cause for
concern particularly as children and young people form a large part of the cricket
viewing audience, especially when it comes to T20 games," said Sondra Davoren,
senior legal policy adviser for Cancer Council Victoria.
"In 2009, the National
Preventative Health Taskforce recommended that alcohol promotions in sport be
phased out as a way to protect children and young people from the harmful
effects of alcohol advertising, but we've still seen no action in this area."
The report coincides with a recently announced
review of the code that proposes to allow alcohol advertising in earlier time
slots, from 7.30 pm. Under the current code of practice, alcohol ads may not be
shown before 8.30 pm, unless as an accompaniment to live sports broadcasts.
advertisers' own code stipulates that they will not market alcohol in a way
that appeals strongly to children and young people. What kind of message are we
sending to young people if every time they see their sporting heroes on
television they are essentially acting as mobile billboards for alcohol?" Ms
consumption is related to significant short and long term health problems such
as injury, car accidents, cirrhosis of the liver, strokes and cancer. Evidence
shows that exposure of children and young people to alcohol advertising leads
to earlier initiation of
alcohol use and more frequent and heavy drinking by young Australians, and
patterns of harmful drinking later in life.
Ms Davoren cited the current ICC Cricket World Cup as a perfect example
of a major sports event that could run without the need for alcohol advertising
promotion and sport should not go hand in hand and Australia needs to step up. In
France, for example, they have a complete ban on alcohol advertising in sport,
and we've already seen moves from Ireland, the UK, and South Africa to make
steps to phase out alcohol sponsorship in the sporting arena. It's time
Australia stepped up to that challenge too" said Ms Davoren.
In comparison to the Ashes and T20 games, the Cancer Council Victoria
report found that alcohol promotion was most prevalent during the ODI series
with viewers exposed to more than 4,600 ads and sponsorship mentions, equating
to nearly nine hours of advertising over the three matches analysed. The
biggest advertiser was series sponsor, Carlton United, with a total of 4,349 incidences
of advertising, including fixed and electronic banner signage within the
stadium and visible team sponsorship on uniforms and banners. Others advertisers
included VB, Hardys, Fosters, Crown Larger and BWS.
About the research:
research, Alcohol and Junk Food
Advertising during the cricket summer series 2013/14, was commissioned by
Cancer Council Australia and was undertaken by the Centre for Health
Initiatives at Wollongong University. A selection of cricket matches from the One
Day International series, the Ashes series and the T20 International series
were coded for advertising frequencies or rates (i.e. alcohol ads/hour) and
total exposure time for alcohol marketing/alcohol brand messages.