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Kiwi kids exposed to alcohol ads in sport

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 12/01/2017

Kiwi children are exposed to up to 200 alcohol ads per hour while watching televised sports according to New Zealand researchers who want the marketing banned.

University of Otago researchers say marketing drives alcohol consumption by encouraging drinking, which costs the nation $5 billion a year.

A study, to be published in the New Zealand Medical Journal on Friday, analysed five major international sporting events televised over the 2014/15 summer and found alcohol sponsorship was prevalent.

"Sport sponsorship bypasses traditional marketing and gets around the current advertising codes," Associate Professor Louise Signal, from the university's public health department says.

"In New Zealand we have already agreed that alcohol should not be marketed to children by traditional marketing. Why should we allow it with sports sponsorship."

Ms Signal said the research backed advice to government from the Ministerial Forum on Alcohol Advertising.

A decision is yet to be made on that advice, she said.

The research focused on the Rugby League 9s, Australian Open final, Asian Cup final, Football Ferns International friendly and the ICC One Day International Cricket World Cup final.

Assistant Research Fellow Tim Chambers said audiences were exposed to between 1.6 and 3.8 alcohol brands per minute during the games, with brands visible between 42 and 888 times across examined games.

"For three out of the five events alcohol brands were available for almost half of the game," he said.

Mr Chambers called for healthy sponsors to replace alcohol, citing examples including ASB Bank which has sponsored this year's Tennis Classic in Auckland.

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