Public Opinion In New Zealand Grows For Ban On Booze Ads During Sporting Events
More than four in 10 people say it is "time to ban alcohol sponsorship in sports, a number alcohol control advocate groups see as encouraging," according to Steve Deane of the NEW ZEALAND HERALD. A Herald-DigiPoll survey asked whether alcohol sponsorship of sports bodies "should be made unlawful along the same lines as tobacco sponsorship," which was banned in the early '90s. National Addiction Centre Dir Doug Sellman said, "I don't think you would have got that number two years ago. There has been a real shift in public opinion around alcohol." While some alcohol advisory groups do not believe such a ban would go far enough, breweries argue the industry is "already heavily regulated and that banning sports sponsorship would do little to alleviate binge drinking, while harming sports bodies by limiting their revenue." New Zealand Rugby Union public affairs GM Nick Brown said that commercial support of a wide range of products and services was "vital to help grow and promote the game." Brown: "New Zealand rugby is an advocate of sensible decision-making around alcohol by adults." Lion Breweries, which makes Steinlager, said there was "no evidence to suggest banning sponsorship would lead to a reduction in binge drinking." External relations Manager Liz Read said that rules around promotion of alcohol "were already strict" (NZH, 3/25).