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Keywords:

  • alcohol advertising;
  • alcohol industry;
  • prevention

Abstract

The author examines the extent to which the alcohol industry, while purporting to be a responsible industry sensitive to the potential harm associated with alcohol, has attempted to subvert the efforts of those seeking to reduce that harm. Reference is made to recent attempts to circumvent the advertising code, exaggerate the beneficial health effects of alcohol, co-opt the NH & MRC guidelines regarding responsible drinking and minimize community support for control measures. Notwithstanding these manifestations of the industry's duplicity, it will be argued that the lion and the sheep will need at some stage to lie down together if the alcohol industry is not to suffer the same fate as the tobacco industry. It will be suggested that among the issues on which both sides might co-operate are the advertising and promotion of alcohol, the responsible serving of alcohol and the design of the licensed drinking environment. It will, moreover, be argued that such co-operation is in the long-term interest of the alcohol industry, which like any other must be responsive to community concerns.