An open letter was sent today to the Advertising Standards Authority explaining the reasons for a boycott of its review of the voluntary code on alcohol advertising and promotion. The letter has been endorsed by more than 20 organisations including Health Coalition Aotearoa, Cancer Society NZ, the Salvation Army and Consumer NZ, and a number of Maori organisations including Toi Tangata, Hāpai Te Hauora Tapui Limited and Turanga Health. Over 70 health professionals have also signed the letter.

The support for this boycott illustrates concern over the way successive governments have ignored their responsibility to protect well-being and reduce alcohol harm by allowing virtually unrestricted alcohol marketing in New Zealand. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is a body which represents the interests of the advertising industry, broadcasters, and alcohol industry.

‘Profits of alcohol companies are being placed ahead of people’s well-being and the government is standing by and allowing this to happen’ said Professor Sally Casswell speaking on behalf of the Health Coalition Aotearoa.

‘There is public support for greater restriction of alcohol marketing as seen in submissions to the Law Commission in 2010 and again in 2014 to the Ministerial Forum on alcohol advertising. What is required now is political will. We hope regulation will mean we never see another review of an ASA code in New Zealand’

You can view the letter here