Advertising & Sponsorship

The advertising and promotion of alcohol

Alcohol companies are always seeking new ways to increase immediate demand, as well as future demand, for their products.

From the way the products are designed (e.g. naming, labelling, packaging) to the way they are advertised and marketed, everything is planned.

Today, more and more advertising is occuring through social media. Drinking is often glamourised as a harmless activity, not showing the full picture of the harm alcohol causes in our country.

Young people and those with addictions are particularly vulnerable to alcohol advertising. Exposure to alcohol advertising is linked with taking up drinking earlier and drinking larger amounts. Advertising also makes it more difficult for people wishing to quit or cut back their drinking and prevents health promotion messages from being more effective.

In our daily lives, alcohol is promoted in a number of places. Click below to take action on alcohol advertising and exposure in/around:

This section focuses on alcohol advertisements often found in/on TV, radio, billboards, internet, magazines and print media, etc.

This section does not include the promotion of alcohol/drinking within TV and Radio programmes (e.g. Shortland Street, radio breakfast shows). Click this link to read more about alcohol promotion in programmes broadcasted in NZ.


You may be watching a television programme, or listening to a breakfast or evening show on the radio, and feel that alcohol use is dominating the story or that drinking is being promoted. If the programme is broadcasted in New Zealand, then you can make a complaint to the Broadcasting Standards Authority. Read this section to learn more.


As a lot of drinking occurs in homes, exposure to alcohol marketing and products will be high. In our homes, our children may be exposed to alcohol products, alcohol-branded merchandise as well as bombarded with advertising on the TV, radio and internet.

This section guides you to take action so that exposure to alcohol products in the home is minimised and harm is reduced to our young people.


Supermarkets are one the most common places to purchase alcohol, particularly wine. The introduction of alcohol sales into supermarkets (in 1989 and 1999) changed the alcohol retail landscape overnight. Wine consumption has now doubled and children continue to be exposed to alcohol marketing in these outlets. Even bottle stores buy their alcohol from these settings, given the low price.

New Zealand has laws that restrict the exposure to alcohol in supermarkets - alcohol must be displayed in a single area. Use this section to help you take action in relation to the promotion and exposure to alcohol in these everyday settings.


Some Council's have bylaws that relate to signage outside licensed premises. These bylaws are an important part of reducing the overall exposure to alcohol advertising in your community.

If your Council does not have a signage bylaw, you can encourage them to develop one. If you live in an area with a bylaw, it is important that you check that your local alcohol outlets comply with its rules. This section will guide you through this action.


It is great news that some Councils around the country are prohibiting alcohol advertisements on public transport or around transport facilities. If your Council has not yet taken action, you can encourage them to do so.

This section will assist you in talking to your Council about the importance of public transport advertising policies and will guide you on remedying any breaches to rules which prohibit alcohol advertising.


As you walk around your community you are likely to be exposed to some form of alcohol advertising. By taking action on alcohol advertising in your community you can reduce its harmful impact, especially to young people. 

This section covers general alcohol advertising and promotion in your community. Click on the specific links if you want to take action on signage outside licensed premisesadvertising on public transport or alcohol sponsorship.


Alcohol sponsorship is a key driver in New Zealand's drinking culture. We see it at sports clubs, fashion festivals, music festivals, sporting events, etc. Many of New Zealand's top sporting teams and cultural events are sponsored by alcohol companies.

Tobacco sponsorship in New Zealand was banned in 1995 - this section guides you to take action so that the negative impact of sponsorship, particularly on our children, can be resisted.


Many agencies around the world recognise the harm caused by alcohol marketing and recommend tougher restrictions on alcohol advertising and sponsorship to protect young people.

Many reviews into alcohol advertising/sponsorship have been carried out in New Zealand, with the latest review in 2014 recommending laws which restrict or prohibit exposure to young people. This section guides you on taking action so that laws can better protect our young people.


References - Advertising & Sponsorship

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