ARA in line with global strategy on responsible alcohol use
26 October 2009 by Atmosphere Communications
Aligning with the upcoming World Health Organisation global strategy to reduce the harmful effects of alcohol use, the Industry Association for Responsible Alcohol Use has announced the launch of a new advertising campaign, backed up by a R9 million launch budget, aimed at educating parents on the impact of their drinking behaviour on their children.
Members of the association comprise key players in the liquor industry including SA Breweries, brandhouse and Distell.
The director General of World Health Organisation (WHO) plans to submit the draft global strategy to the World Health Assembly in early 2010. The strategy's objective is to use all available evidence and existing best practices in order to develop a set of recommended measures for countries around the world to implement, taking into account the individual circumstances of each country.
For South Africa, the harmful effects of alcohol include underage drinking, drinking and driving, abuse and fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD).
"It is important to resist the temptation to try and find simple solutions to the complex problems of alcohol misuse and abuse. The ARA firmly believes that no single action is likely to reduce the problems, but rather a mix of self-regulation, enforcement of existing laws governing sale and consumption, awareness creation and targeted interventions combined with individuals taking personal responsibility for their drinking choices is the most appropriate approach," said Adrian Botha, spokesperson for the ARA.
"Our research has indicated that whilst teenagers don't like to admit it, they really do care what their parents think and are strongly influened by their parent's behaviour. As a result of the outcome of this research, many of our recent initiatives have focused on teenagers and parents, including the production of a Teenagers & Alcohol booklet as a practical guide aimed at encouraging parents to communicate with their children from an early age about the potential harms associated with underage drinking."
Botha added that international research allso shows the impact that parents have on whether or not the children drink before reaching the legal age and their drinking patterns after reaching the legal age, should they choose to drink. "The message to parents is, if you drink, do so responsibly and set an example. Be a role model for your children."
The launch of new ARA advertising campaign in November 2009 has a direct link to this message. "Previously many campaigns focused on the behavior of the teenager, but this time round the attention is on the parent and how their behaviour influences their children," commented Botha.
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