Centre for Behavioural
Research in Cancer

Television advertising to promote NHMRC guidelines for low risk alcohol consumption

Australia’s National Health and Medical Research Council’s (NHRMC) current guidelines advise that Australian adults should limit alcohol consumption to 2 standard drinks per day to reduce the risk of lifetime harm, and 4 standard drinks on any single occasion to avoid short-term harm. Since there has been little communication to promote these guidelines, the majority of adults either do not know or overestimate the safe levels of alcohol consumption. This study will experimentally assess the impact of television advertising that promotes the guidelines for low risk drinking on adults’ estimates of drinking levels associated with a higher risk of short-term and long-term harm. Using qualitative interviewing and a quantitative advertising rating study of adult drinkers, we will identify the four strongest performing short-term ads and the four strongest-performing long-term harm ads for inclusion in an experimental study. The experiment will incorporate both implicit and explicit post-viewing measures of advertising effects. Findings from this research will identify how low risk drinking guidelines might best be promoted via mass media campaigns to positively influence perceptions of alcohol-related harm and drinking intentions and behaviours in the whole population.

CBRC staff

Prof Melanie Wakefield, Dr Helen Dixon, A/Prof Sarah Durkin, Dr Emily Brennan, Kimberley Dunstone, Dr Danielle Schoenaker


Prof Michael Slater (Ohio State University, USA), Prof Simone Pettigrew (Curtin University)


NHMRC Project Grant (1070689)


2014 - present