A group of doctors in Australia has called for the nation’s cricketing bodies to cease using alcohol sponsorship, claiming it is negatively affecting children.
Doctors from the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) are concerned about the level of alcohol sponsorship in the sport, with beer brands sponsoring 12 national and state-level organizations including the national team.
Sarah Dalton from the RACP said much like tobacco advertising was phased out at sporting events in Australia, alcohol advertising and sponsorships should eventually be discontinued altogether.
“We’re overdue 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,” Dalton told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) on Sunday.
“It is happening in too many Australian sports and it needs to stop.”
Currently the national side is sponsored by Victoria Bitter (VB), while the home One Day International (ODI) series is called the “VB One Day International series.” Dalton said the saturation level of the advertisements and logo placements was dangerous.
“During one of the ODI games … 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 advertisement on TV,” Dalton said.
“We know this type of marketing leads children and adolescents to start drinking earlier and makes young drinkers prone to binge drinking patterns.”
Despite the criticism, Alcohol Beverages Australia’s Fergus Taylor said there were plenty of measures already in place to discourage underage drinking, while he added that statistics have shown underage drinking to be on the decline in Australia.
“The suggestion that current controls in place are ineffective and further regulation is needed to curb underage drinking is wrong,” Taylor said. Enditem