The ABAC Code
The ABAC Responsible Alcohol Marketing Code sets key standards for the responsible content and placement of alcohol marketing in Australia.
Subject to regular reviews, the ABAC Code reflects community expectations and changes in the media and advertising industries. It applies beyond traditional forms of advertising (television, radio, print and outdoor) to alcohol marketing communications in emerging digital and social media.
As with all codes of this nature, a view on whether a particular advertisement or packaging complies with the standards will necessarily be subjective. The ABAC Scheme provides four decision points for determining whether alcohol marketing complies with ABAC standards:
- Internal Check - Company and advertising agency staff check each marketing communication and its media placement schedule against the ABAC Code and Guidance Notes.
- External Pre-vetting Check- Companies or advertising agency staff can apply to have their marketing communications independently assessed by ABAC pre-vetters against the ABAC Code standards.
- Complaint - Once a marketing communication is in the marketplace consumers can lodge a complaint about that marketing via Ad Standards triggering the ABAC complaints process.
- Compliance - When the ABAC Panel's view is that the marketing communication does not meet the ABAC standards the marketer is asked to withdraw or modify the marketing.
ABAC will transition to the new Code between 1 August 2023 and 1 January 2024:
- Complaints received between 1 August 2023 and 31 December 2023 will be considered against the new Code UNLESS the complaint relates to Part 4(c) of the revised Code OR relates to a marketing communication that has been continuously in market from 31 July 2023, with complaints meeting either of those two criteria being considered against the previous Code.
- All complaints received on or after 1 January 2024 will be considered against the new Code regardless of when the marketing communication entered the market.