It’s just not cricket: alcohol sponsorships impacting children

The Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) is calling for an end to alcohol sponsorships in
cricket, with the naming rights for today’s fourth VB One Day International (ODI) one of more than 20
alcohol-related sponsorships in cricket across Australia.*

The RACP is concerned about the impact alcohol promotion has on young cricket fans – a sentiment
backed by the majority of Australians, with 61 per cent concerned about the exposure of children to
alcohol promotions in sport.**

RACP Paediatrics & Child Health Division President, Dr Sarah Dalton, says it’s unacceptable that
young children are being bombarded with alcohol promotion both at the ground and at home watching
on TV.

“It is time for a national conversation to discuss how big brewers are using sport as a channel to
market their product, leaving our children as the collateral damage,” explained Dr Dalton. “It is
happening in too many Australian sports and it needs to stop.

“These promotions normalise alcohol, with Australian kids getting the message that alcohol is an
important part of socialising and sports,” said Dr Dalton.

“During one of the VB ODI games, I urge you to keep a tally of how many times you spot an alcohol
ad or logo, either at the ground, on a player’s shirt, or in an advert on TV – I’m sure the number would
surprise and shock you.

“Sadly, we know this type of marketing leads children and adolescents to start drinking earlier and
makes young drinkers prone to binge drinking patterns.

“Sometimes it starts them on a journey that has a lifelong impact. It’s not surprising that the peak age
for the onset of alcohol use disorders is only 18 years old.” ***

Dr Dalton also criticised the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) who she says
need to do more to ensure children are protected during sports broadcasts.

“Sports are the only programs allowed to broadcast alcohol advertisements before 8:30pm, on
weekends and public holidays, at times when children are most likely to be watching television.
Because of this it’s estimated that children under the age of 18 are exposed to 50 million alcohol
advertisements each year.****

“As a paediatrician, I am interested in finding out why this is allowed to happen. The ACMA needs to
step up, remove this loophole, and help protect Australian children from alcohol promotion.”

Dr Dalton encouraged Cricket Australia and the ACMA to review the RACP’s Alcohol Policy, which
calls for national, comprehensive, evidence-based strategies to combat the harms of alcohol.

* Based on attitudinal research completed by Essential Media on behalf of the RACP in February 2016. Sample size of 2017
Cricket Australia Carlton & United (CUB),
VB, Hardys
Cricket NSW  Cricketers Arms,
Cricket Victoria Cricketers Arms,
O’Leary Walker
Cricket Tasmania Cascade Brewery
Queensland Cricket XXXX Gold
South Australian
Cricket Association
West End, Wirra Wirra
NT Cricket CUB, Casuarina Club
Cricket ACT CUB
Sydney Sixers Cricketers Arms,
Sydney Thunder Cricketers Arms
Adelaide Strikers West End, Wirra Wirra
Wines, Thirsty Camel
Brisbane Heat Story Bridge Hotel
Melbourne Stars Cricketers Arms

*** Degenheart L, Hall W, Teesson M, Lynskey M. Alcohol use disorders in Australia: findings from the National Survey of Mental Health and Well-Being. NDARC Technical Report No. 97; 2000.
**** Carr S, O’Brien K, Ferris J, et al. Child and adolescent exposure to alcohol advertising in Australia’s major televised sports. Drug and Alcohol Review 2015: DOI: 10.1111/dar.12326. 
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