Publication Details

This conference paper was originally published as Jones, SC and Donovan, RJ, Regulation of alcohol advertising in Australia: case study of a failure, in Proccedings of the Australian and New Zealand Marketing Academy Conference, 1 - 5 December 2001, Massey University, New Zealand.


The aim of this paper is to further the bridging of marketing theory and practice by disseminating to marketing practitioners the results of a recent study conducted for a public health audience. This paper has direct implications for the practice of ethical marketing and advertising of alcohol beverages in Australia. The study was designed to assess young people’s perceived messages in three ads for a vodka-based pre-mixed alcohol beverage, and to assess the extent to which the ads appeared to be consistent with the industry’s voluntary code. Two convenience samples of young people, one aged 15-16 years and another aged 19-21 years, were exposed to three advertisements for the brand. Respondents completed a post-exposure questionnaire based on standard advertising copy testing procedures. The most frequently nominated open-ended responses to the main message of the ads related to the product’s delivering mood effects: both removal of negative emotions (e.g. “stress reduction,” “worries reduction”), as well as inducing positive states of arousal such as feeling “carefree” and gaining “increased enjoyment.” Consumption of the product was perceived to also offer “selfconfidence,” “sexual/relationship success” and “social success.” These perceived messages are banned by the Alcoholic Beverages Advertising Code (ABAC) and suggest that this campaign may in fact the Code.