Thursday 7 March 2013

Some useful context

I'm sure it's only the confines of a short radio news blurb that had Radio New Zealand miss a bit of context in this story. The full text of the RNZ bulletin:
The Government is being urged to consider whether it is time to ban alcohol advertising and sponsorship of sport.
Kerry O'Brien, a behaviour studies expert at Monash University, told an alcohol marketing conference in Wellington on Thursday, that alcohol advertising is everywhere in both New Zealand and Australia.
He said sport is a major way in which the alcohol markets its product to young people and current advertising codes aren't protecting children.
Mr O'Brien said new research shows if adults receive alcohol sponsorship in their sports club, their children may also be influenced.
Ok, an expert addressing an alcohol marketing conference wants to ban advertising. What kind of conference? Alcohol marketing. Could be some industry thing, could be an academic thing, who knows. Sounds pretty neutral and impartial though.

Here's Alcohol Action New Zealand's blurb on their conference:
THE PERILS OF ALCOHOL MARKETING - Thursday 7th March 2013 at Te Papa, Wellington

The upcoming conference titled The Perils of Alcohol Marketing is shaping up really well, with excellent keynote speakers confirmed - Professor Sally Casswell, Massey University Auckland, Professor Janet Hoek, University of Otago, Dr Kerry O'Brien, Monash University, and Associate Professor Antonia Lyons, Massey University. This will be the first conference post the Alcohol Reform Bill and focusing on this fundamental commercial issue of alcohol marketing is very apt. The draft programme is available to view and download below.

We welcome abstracts for short presentations (3-5 minutes) that illustrate the most "evil" examples of alcohol marketing. Feel free to submit an abstract that focuses on one pertinent example or, alternatively, one that skims over multiple examples. Please see the call for papers application form below.

Don't miss this critical conference on alcohol marketing - New Zealand's most socially damaging drug. Register now by completing and returning the registration form below.
So a conference, titled "The Perils of Alcohol Marketing", and hosted by Doug Sellman's Alcohol Action New Zealand, specifically went out asking people to submit abstracts illustrating "the most "evil" examples of alcohol marketing" and had a keynote speaker who thinks alcohol marketing should be banned.

Here's the conference flier:
NZ continues to be one of the most unregulated societies in the OECD for the supply and sale of alcohol. Alcohol is our most socially damaging drug yet the global alcohol industry enjoys enormous freedom to market alcohol to New Zealanders - as if it were an ordinary commercial product. 
The Conference will feature: 
Stimulating and informative keynote presentations from experts on alcohol and alcohol
marketing: Prof Jennie Connor, Prof Janet Hoek, Prof Sally Casswell, and A/Prof Antonia
Lyons. Dr Kerry O’Brien from Australia’s Monash University is a special overseas guest.
A series of short presentations illustrating the most “evil” examples of alcohol marketing.
A political panel with representatives from the main parliamentary parties outlining their
respective party policy on how to deal with “The Perils of Alcohol Marketing”, in the light of the Law Commission’s recommendation to dismantle it over a five year period. 
The draft programme included:
  • Otago's Jennie Connor on Alcohol Harms
  • Otago's Janet Hoek asking whether responsible alcohol marketing is a "public health oxymoron?"
  • SHORE's Sally Casswell asking "Where would alcohol companies be without alcohol marketing?" 
A bit of context can sometimes be of assistance. 


  1. Sounds like a good ole down home revivalist meeting complete with tambourines and Hallelujahs.


  2. Despite all this, the claim about "new research" may be true. It would hence have been useful to learn what that new research is.

  3. Shame I couldn't find a link to it on the conference site.