Effective date: 28 July 2009Last amended: 14 January 2020Next review: January 2022
This guideline is designed to provide information in regard to the subject matter covered, and with the understanding that the Director of Liquor Licensing is not passing legal opinion or interpretation or other professional advice. The information is
provided on the understanding that all persons undertake responsibility for assessing the relevance and accuracy of its contents.
This document provides the industry with a framework of practices to follow in the responsible promotion and advertising of liquor. The overall purpose of the guideline is to encourage responsible attitudes towards the sale, supply and consumption of liquor and to prevent practices that are likely to cause harm. The guideline applies to all licensees in Western Australia.
The Liquor Control Act 1988 (the Act) places an obligation on licensees to sell and supply liquor in a responsible manner.
One of the primary objects of the Act is to minimise harm or ill-health caused to people, or any group of people, due to the use of liquor. A secondary object of the Act is to encourage responsible attitudes and practices towards the promotion, sale, supply, service and consumption of liquor that are consistent with the interests of the community.
The principles contained in this guideline are designed to assist licensees to ensure that any promotion or advertising is consistent with the requirements of the Act.
Section 64(3) of the Act empowers the licensing authority to impose conditions on a licence which:
Where there is evidence that a licensee has not promoted, advertised, sold or supplied liquor in a responsible manner, the licensing authority may impose restrictive conditions on the licence.
Promotions and activities that encourage people to consume liquor rapidly and/or excessively can lead to alcohol-related violence, anti-social behaviour and have adverse health impacts. Further, promotions that appeal to minors, are indecent, offensive or generally out of step with community standards are not in the public interest.
The following principles provide licensees with a reference guide for the responsible advertising and promotion of liquor. Whilst the examples are not exhaustive, the overarching question that licensees can ask themselves to assess whether their promotion or activity is acceptable, is “Does this practice encourage the irresponsible consumption of liquor or portray the consumption of liquor in an inappropriate way?”
Other Harm Minimisation Measures
There are a range of harm minimisation measures and strategies that licensees can adopt to ensure liquor is promoted and consumed responsibly. Some of the strategies licensees can consider to minimise harm include:
Timing of promotions. The later in the trading period that the promotion is held, the more likely it is that a patron has already consumed liquor and may be at risk of intoxication. Licensees are encouraged not to conduct promotions after 7pm.
Type and strength of liquor. Consider running promotions offering lower strength liquor products. Provide half measures of spirits if requested and reasonably priced non-alcoholic drinks to patrons (in addition to free drinking water which must be provided at all times).
Frequency. Consider limiting the number of promotions that are held in a single trading period.
Duration. Licensees should appropriately time the duration of promotions to reduce the risks of irresponsible drinking.
Price. A common-sense approach should be taken when discounting liquor to ensure that excessive discounts are not offered, as this may lead to irresponsible consumption.
Monitor and manage patrons. Consider employing RSA marshals during the promotion who can monitor patron behaviour and respond early if there are risks of intoxication. This includes preventing patrons from stockpiling drinks.
Consider national advertising standards. Consider any national advertising requirements before conducting advertising, such as the ABAC Responsible Alcohol Marketing Code and Outdoor Media Association Alcohol Advertising Guidelines.
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