Willetton Basketball Association welcomes report calling for end to alcohol advertising in sport


Willetton Basketball Association president Phil Nixon. Picture: Martin Kennealey    d474696
Willetton Basketball Association president Phil Nixon. Picture: Martin Kennealey d474696

WILLETTON Basketball Association (WBA) president Phil Nixon has welcomed a report that found parents would like to see an end to alcohol advertising during sporting broadcasts.

The national survey by the McCusker Centre found the majority of adults want TV ads promoting alcohol to be phased out at times when children are likely to be watching sports.

“We don’t have visible advertising; we have some sponsorship in the bar area,” Mr Nixon said.

The former chief executive of the Perth Wildcats wrote in the foreword of the report, proud that the club had eliminated unhealthy advertising.

But Mr Nixon pointed out the club was privately owned.

“They were able to afford to take the higher moral ground,” he said.

“Most people understand it is a bit of a juggle.”

WBA administration manager Maria McAdam said the club was known as a Good Sports Club, and agreed that alcohol and children’s sports did not mix.

“We are very conscious to minimise kids’ exposure to alcohol advertising,” she said. “Although there is a bar on our premises, it opens rarely and any signage of alcohol is confined to the bar and does not play a role in our club culture, which is so strongly focused on junior development.”

The McCusker survey involved 1050 adults and found 80 per cent were concerned about the current levels of exposure children have to alcohol promotion, while 71 per cent did not think it was appropriate for alcohol ads to feature sports stars popular with children.

The survey results are outlined in a new Alcohol Advertising Review Board (AARB) report It’s not fair play: Why alcohol must leave sport, released recently by the McCusker Centre for Action on Alcohol and Youth and Cancer Council WA.

About two-thirds of the sport-related complaints made to the Board were related to alcohol sponsorship, with more than 80 per cent of those complaints related to AFL, NRL, cricket and motor racing.

“Given the majority of Australian adults do not think it is acceptable for alcohol to be promoted in connection with sport, we call on the Federal Government to phase out alcohol sponsorship of sport, close the loophole that allows alcohol ads during sport on TV, and introduce independent, legislated controls on all forms of alcohol marketing,” McCusker Centre’s Julia Stafford said.

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