Health groups have welcomed a national review of alcohol advertising which calls for tighter curbs, including a ban on alcohol promotion on television during sports telecasts.
But sections of the alcohol industry have criticised the draft report by the Australian National Preventive Health Agency, including the finding that advertising self-regulation is inadequate.
The agency said there was evidence adolescents were exposed to almost the same level of alcohol advertising as adults aged 18-24. It has called for the removal of an exemption in the Commercial Television Industry Code of Practice that allows the advertising of alcohol products before 8.30pm if it is part of a broadcast of live sporting events on weekends and public holidays.
The National Alliance for Action on Alcohol said the Federal Government needed to respond quickly to the report, to protect children from high levels of alcohol advertising.
Co-chairman Mike Daube, who is also alcohol spokesman for the Public Health Association, said Australian families were under siege from alcohol marketing.
"It's time to protect kids from the relentless pressure to drink that comes from unrestrained alcohol advertising on TV, through sports sponsorship and in social media," Professor Daube said.
"The Government should act to end the loophole permitting TV alcohol promotion through sport, and end the current charade of industry self-regulation."
But Carlton and United Breweries, which made a confidential submission to the inquiry, said it was disappointed the agency and the public health lobby ignored measures by alcohol producers, broadcasters and sports to ensure advertising and promotions were done responsibly.
"Children's exposure and attitudes to alcohol are more likely to be developed in the home by watching their parents rather than through any advertising, which is why the alcohol industry has supported the successful 'kids absorb your drinking' campaign run by DrinkWise," a spokesman said.