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No alcohol advertising in sport?

Speculation on a ban of alcohol advertising hit our national news the past few weeks. True or not? The bigger question should be why we should we make that choice as a country.

SAAPA supports the ban on alcohol sponsorship of sports as part of a package of increased restrictions on alcohol advertising. In a recent study by the South African Medical Research Council of South Africa in Tshwane, they found that of the adolescents who reported drinking in the past 6 months, 77.5% were exposed to alcohol advertising in sport. This level of exposure was similar for newspapers and magazines.

The study supports other evidence that exposure to alcohol advertising through sport as participants and spectators is one of the main vehicles for influencing children and young people’s alcohol consumption decisions. This is why in 1993 South Africa made the choice to ban tobacco advertising and sponsorship.

Currently in South Africa 170 people die every day due to alcohol. The government spends R247b annually on dealing with alcohol related harm. Binge and heavy drinking amongst young people are at 25% and 12% of 12year olds report having drunk alcohol.

This is an ongoing, every day national crisis. Government has taken action in relation to the national health crisis of the recent listeriosis epidemic as have the public, the companies, local shops and tuckshops, etc. Everybody got involved in the conversation about saving lives.

So why not do the same with alcohol and alcohol advertising? SAAPA is not advocating a ban on alcohol. Those who want to purchase and consume alcohol are free to do so, just like cigarette smokers. 

What SAAPA is calling for is simply to ban alcohol advertising and sponsorship in sport and other sectors, coupled with an increase in the price of alcohol products, an increase in the legal age of purchasing, and an expansion of the liability for harm to producers, distributors, marketers and traders.

We need decisive action in the face of a national crisis.

SAAPA knows that many other industries would love to fund sport. The return value on the investment has been demonstrated by Sunfoil’s sponsorship of cricket. SAAPA also believes that government itself should invest in sports and its development. The alcohol industry can support sport – but by paying their tax to government and let government sponsor and invest in sport. Government should get the accolades for doing so, rather than help to market alcohol!

SAAPA has partnered with FARE in Australia to promote this conversation. Fans in both our countries love sport. Corporates like Sunfoil and Qantas are leading the way and demonstrating that we can enjoy sport without alcohol messaging.

Show your support

  1. Sign the petition on www.boozefreesport.org.au
  2. Share the message. Post the link on your personal and work social media platforms.
  3. Join us in a national consultation meeting in April to discuss this issue and together with professional bodies, sports administrators, civil society, researchers and government identify alternatives to alcohol sponsorship of sport.

For more information
Aadielah Maker Diedericks: saapa.za@gmail.com
082 3388308

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