WE ARE CALLING ON YOU TO PROTECT OUR COMMUNITIES FROM ALCOHOL ADVERTISING:
Reducing community exposure to alcohol advertising through the Auckland Signage Bylaw
The Signage Bylaw 2015 is currently being reviewed by the Auckland Council’s Social Policy and Bylaws Unit. This review presents an opportunity to protect communities from alcohol advertising Auckland.
The review findings will be presented to Auckland Council’s new regulatory committee and to the Board of Auckland Transport after the 2019 local elections. A decision will then be made on the future of the bylaw.
Kids are frequently exposed to harmful alcohol advertising
Exposure to alcohol advertising can lead to children and young people starting to drink alcohol earlier and drinking larger amounts of alcohol.(1,2) New Zealand research shows children are frequently exposed to alcohol advertising, commonly via bottle stores and other alcohol outlets.(3) There are significant inequities in this harmful exposure, with tamariki Māori having much higher levels of exposure.
Health Promotion Agency surveys show that 80% of New Zealanders support increasing restrictions on alcohol advertising or promotion seen or heard by people under 18 years.(4)
Bottle stores not complying with the Signage Bylaw 2015
The Auckland Signage Bylaw contains generic regulations for signage, by sign type and unitary plan zone.(5) Alcohol signage is regarded as no different to other signage, despite the significant harm from alcohol advertising exposure.
Alcohol Healthwatch audited bottle store compliance with the Signage Bylaw, finding compliance was rare. Of particular concern, multiple apparent breaches of the Signage Bylaw was common (81% of premises exhibited 2 or more apparent breaches).(6,7)
Other mechanisms are ineffective
New Zealand has a weak, voluntary self-regulatory code as the main protection against alcohol advertising.(8) In relation to alcohol outlets, this alcohol industry code centres on the content of each advertisement and fails to address both the amount of alcohol advertising that communities are exposed to and the location of advertising relative to sensitive sites (e.g. schools).
Despite the Law Commission Review (9) and Ministerial Forum on Alcohol Advertising and Sponsorship,(10) making strong recommendations to restrict advertising exposure in communities (including at licensed premises) there has been no Government action to date.
Leadership is needed
Given the harms associated with alcohol advertising, the known exposure among young people, the lack of protection offered by the New Zealand’s self-regulatory system, and the widespread non-compliance of bottle stores with the Signage Bylaw, leadership is urgently needed from civic and community leaders.
Show your support by signing on to the resolution today!