Cricket Australia Accused Of Censorship After Refusal To Run 'Alcohol And Sport Don't Mix' Ad
Cricket Australia has refused to run an advertisement telling fans that "alcohol and sport don't mix" on the grounds it thinks they mix perfectly well, according to Amy Corderoy of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. Healthway, the main sponsor of the Western Australian Cricket Association, "was offered advertising along with all the other big state team sponsors at the Ryobi Cup, now under way in Sydney." McCusker Centre for Alcohol and Youth Dir Mike Daube said the group was told its advertisement was not appropriate as it could affect "other partners" in the game. Its alternative says "Under 18. No Alcohol. The Safest Choice," but Daube said that "health groups were frustrated that even a mild message trying to remove the link between alcohol and sport would be rejected." Daube: "Their priorities are clear. They are keen to protect their alcohol sponsors from messages that might offend them but do nothing to stop alcohol promotion that might offend health-promoting sponsors." A sponsorship deal between Carlton & United Breweries and Cricket Australia "is thought to be worth" A$65M ($62M) over five years. The Healthway deal is worth A$2.1M "over three years." The dean of the Victoria University college of sport and exercise science, Hans Westerbeek, said alcohol sponsorship was now as important to sport "as tobacco sponsorship was 20 or 30 years ago." A spokesperson said Cricket Australia had not accepted the advertising not because of the impact on other sponsors but "because it conflicted with our continuing position on the relationship between alcohol and sport, which is one of consumption in moderation" (SMH, 10/15).