The West

Booze ads slammed
Smirnoff Vodka’s sponsorship of music festivals, including Groovin' the Moo, was criticised. Picture: Supplied.

The alcohol industry has hit back at scathing criticism of some of its advertisements, claiming a review by a health-led watchdog has no credibility.

The Australian Association of National Advertisers said the Alcohol Advertising Review Board, set up in March and chaired by WA child health exert Fiona Stanley, was acting as "judge, jury and executioner."

Carlton & United Breweries said the health lobby had failed to recognise that the current review process for alcohol advertising was effective and met with community standards.

The watchdog, set up by Australian health groups to monitor alcohol marketing, condemned 25 advertisements, some linking alcohol with football, fast cars and "calendar babes and said it had received 63 complaints in its first report.

Of the 44 appropriate for review, 25 complaints were upheld, and 17 upheld in part.

Those criticised and recommended for withdrawal included products likely to appeal to young women such as Skinnygirl Cocktails, the Jim Beam on Campus promotion targeting university students, and a "Woodstock Bourbon Calendar Babes" promotion.

Other promotions criticised included Smirnoff Vodka sponsorship of music festivals including Groovin' the Moo.

Professor Fiona Stanley said it was time to name and shame companies that advertised alcohol irresponsibly and particularly to challenge them to promote their products in ways that did not appeal to young people.

"This shows a deeply disturbing range of alcohol advertising and promotion that simply should not be permitted," she said.

Major alcohol industry groups had criticised the board for talking too long to release its first report but McCusker Centre for Action on Alcohol and Youth director Mike Daube said the delays were to resolve issues raised by the groups.

It was also considered appropriate to release the first three months of determinations as a set.

The West Australian

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