Campaign Launched To Ban The Booze In Sport Advertising

Australian sport personalities have joined forces to call for a ban on alcohol advertising in sport.

The End Alcohol Advertising In Sport campaign was launched on Wednesday and strives to phase the practice out of sport.

Former AFL premiership-winning coach and player Mick Malthouse, NRL legend Steve Ella, former cricketer John Inverarity and dual Olympic gold medalist Clover Maitland are joining an increasing chorus calling for a lifetime ban on sport being used to sell alcohol.

Alcohol advertising regularly dominates the backdrop of Australian cricket matches. Image: Getty Images

Alcohol advertising "normalises, glamourises and glorifies" alcohol consumption, campaign spokesperson Professor Rob Moodie told ten daily.

Moodie, a Professor of Public Health at the University of Melbourne’s School of Population and Global Health, and a former Melbourne Storm chairman, said there is a proven link between booze ads and bad drinking behaviour.

"Kids are awash with alcohol advertising earlier, and we know this can lead to binge drinking and alcohol problems in the future," he said.

Alcohol-related problems are already a drain on the health system, with 10 percent of hospital emergency department admissions caused by alcohol.

Using State of Origin as an example, the New South Wales team known as the "Tooheys Blues" and Queensland "XXXX Maroons", Moodie said the series was a "battle of the beers" as much as a competition between states.

"Unwilling or willing, they have become ambassadors of booze," he said.

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The campaign hopes legislation will be put into place to ban the practice, much like the laws prohibiting tobacco advertising introduced in 1992.

"Like tobacco advertising was replaced, we want people to enjoy sport in a healthier way," Moodie said.

While there are guideline regulations around alcohol advertising, Moodie said sport seems to have an exemption.

"The industry is supposedly self-regulated, but we know this doesn't work," he said.

The campaign hopes that as well as banning alcohol advertising, an independent system of regulation will be put in place around alcohol advertisements which appear outside of sports broadcasts.

Feature Image: Getty Images