ASIA PACIFIC: NEW ZEALAND
ADVERTISING ALCOHOL IN NEW ZEALAND - A NEW REGIME
Author: Liesl Knox, Hesketh Henry
As a result of the New Zealand Law Commission's report on Alcohol in our Lives: Curbing the Harm, the Alcohol Reform Bill (the "Bill") was introduced into parliament late last year.
The Bill has recently undergone its first reading in parliament which has resulted in a number of significant changes. In particular, the provisions dealing with advertising alcohol advertisements have been significantly strengthened, and now include:
New powers enabling the responsible Minister to make regulations to control, or prohibit the advertising, display for sale, labelling, packaging, or promotion of certain alcohol products; and
Provisions requiring supermarkets and grocery stores to display alcohol and associated advertising in a single non-prominent area;
New offences under the banner of the "irresponsible promotion of alcohol" which includes deeming certain activities offences under the Bill. These include promoting alcohol at a price 25 % or more below its ordinary price, advertising alcohol free of charge, and promoting alcohol in a manner aimed at, or that has, or is likely to have, special appeal to minors.
Despite the fact that advertising of alcohol is already one of the most highly regulated categories of advertising, these changes if enacted, will bring about far greater restrictions on those in the industry. In addition they will also require stringent compliance programmes to ensure advertising placement whether in certain media or at point of sale do not trigger the offence of "irresponsible promotion of alcohol".