Group Opposed to Advertising of Liquor and Canterbury Television Ltd - 1994-010
- I W Gallaway (Chair)
- J R Morris
- L M Dawson
- R A Barraclough
- Group Opposed To Advertising Of Liquor
ProgrammeWelcome to Canterbury
BroadcasterCanterbury Television Ltd
Welcome to Canterbury, a programme broadcast by CTV at 9.00am on 10 August 1993,
provided tourist information about some aspects of life in Canterbury and referred to a
number of local business enterprises.
The Secretary of the Group Opposed to Advertising of Liquor (GOAL), Mr Turner,
complained to Canterbury Television Ltd that advertisements for eight liquor outlets
during the programme of about 30 minutes constituted saturation advertising.
Moreover, as four of the advertisements appeared consecutively, that amounted to
another breach of the standards. By broadcasting liquor advertisements at 9.00am, GOAL
continued, the programme breached the ASA Code for Advertising Liquor.
Arguing that the programme lasted 57 minutes – not 30 – and that the components were
not liquor advertisements, CTV denied that any of the standards had been breached.
Dissatisfied with CTV's decision, GOAL referred the saturation aspect of the complaint to
the Broadcasting Standards Authority under s.8(1)(a) of the Broadcasting Act 1989.
For the reasons given below, the Authority declined to uphold the complaint.
The members of the Authority have viewed the item complained about and have read the
correspondence (summarised in the Appendix). As is its practice, the Authority has
determined the complaint without a formal hearing.
Mr Cliff Turner, the Secretary of GOAL, complained to CTV about the programme
Welcome to Canterbury broadcast at 9.00am on 10 August. He complained that eight of
the advertisements included in the programme of about 30 minutes contained verbal and
visual reference to alcohol and thus the broadcast amounted to the saturation of liquor
promotions. In addition, he noted that four of the advertisements were consecutive which
breached the prohibition on the consecutive broadcast of liquor advertisements.
Furthermore, as the programme was broadcast at 9.00am, it contravened the
requirement that liquor advertisements be screened only between 9.00pm and 6.00am.
Explaining that the programme lasted nearly one hour (57 minutes) rather than 30
minutes, CTV denied that the saturation of liquor promotions had taken place.
Furthermore, it did not accept that the named components were liquor advertisements,
adding that the correct definition of the named segments was at present an issue before
the Advertising Standards Complaints Board.
When he referred GOAL's complaint to the Authority, Mr Turner argued that two earlier
referred to were in fact liquor advertisements.
The Authority would note that both of these decisions refer to the broadcast of Welcome to
Canterbury on 18 February 1993 and subsequent changes to the Broadcasting Act mean
that they have little relevance to the present complaint.
Pursuant to the Broadcasting Amendment Act 1993, the jurisdiction for complaints about
advertisements was transferred from the Broadcasting Standards Authority to the
Advertising Standards Complaints Board (ASCB). For example, the ASCB is now responsible
for the aspect of this complaint that liquor advertisements were screened at a time when
such items were prohibited. Nevertheless, the Authority has retained some important
functions with regard to liquor promotion and GOAL complained to the Authority that
Welcome to Canterbury breached standard A1 of the Programme Standards for the
Promotion of Liquor. It reads:
A1 Saturation of liquor promotions, separately or in combination, must be
avoided. In addition, liquor advertisements shall not be broadcast
consecutively in any one break.
The standards also contain a number of definitions, two of which read:
"Saturation" refers to a degree of exposure which gives the impression that liquor
promotion is dominating that viewing or listening period.
"Liquor promotions" for the purpose of this code are:
* liquor advertisements
* sponsorship advertisements by liquor advertisers
* programme sponsorship credits by liquor advertisers; and
* trailers for programmes and event sponsored by liquor advertisers.
In view of the definition of "liquor promotions", the Authority was required to decide on
this occasion whether the item contained a saturation of liquor advertisements.
However, CTV denied that the promotions were liquor advertisements and because of the
ASCB's jurisdiction, the Authority decided to await that Board's decision on the definitional
point. GOAL had listed eight specific advertisements in the programme Welcome to
Canterbury which it maintained were liquor advertisements.
In decisions on Complaints 93/204 and 93/234 reached at its meeting on 1 February
1994, the ASCB examined a number of the segments of the programme Welcome to
Canterbury. The segments on which it adjudicated included the eight advertisements listed
by GOAL and, using the definition of "liquor advertisements" contained in the Advertising
Standards Authority's Code for Advertising Liquor, the ASCB concluded that only two of
the listed advertisements were in fact liquor advertisements. In reaching that conclusion,
it made the following general comment:
The Board was mindful that by definition a liquor advertisement could promote
liquor by product or outlet... . Accordingly, in relation to the other advertisements,
the primary consideration for the Board was whether liquor was promoted by
outlet. The advertisement must place a degree of emphasis on the availability of
liquor from the establishment before the Board would rule that the advertisement
promoted liquor by outlet.
Rather than list the Board's reasoning about all the individual components of the
broadcast of which GOAL complained, the Authority has included two examples, one
where the Board decided that the advertisement placed a degree of emphasis on the
availability of liquor to the extent that the advertisement promoted liquor by outlet and
one where it did not.
The Jolly Poacher
The Board was of the view that the advertisement for the Jolly Poacher was a
liquor advertisement. Food was not mentioned in the advertisement and the
activities shown in the advertisement all took place in a bar in which liquor was
being served. The Jolly Poacher was promoted primarily as a place from which
liquor was available.
Hanmer Lodge Hotel
The Board was of the view that the advertisement for the Hanmer Lodge Hotel did
not constitute a liquor advertisement. The emphasis in the advertisement was on
dining and overall entertainment. The focus on the bottles of wine was not
necessary but did not, however, convert the advertisement to a liquor
In view of the ASCB's jurisdiction on the matter, the Authority was prepared to accept its
conclusion, especially because of the ASCB's emphasis on the purposes of the advertisements
to which its definition applies.
Having accepted the ASCB's interpretation as to which of the advertisements were liquor
advertisements, the Authority decided without hesitation that two liquor advertisements in
the programme which lasted nearly one hour did not amount to saturation in
contravention of standard A1. Moreover, as the two advertisements were not broadcast
consecutively, the broadcast did not amount to a breach of the other aspect of standard A1.
For the above reasons, the Authority declines to uphold the complaint.
Signed for and on behalf of the Authority
10 March 1994
GOAL's Complaint to Canterbury Television Limited
In a letter dated 23 August 1993, the Secretary of the Group Opposed to Advertising of
Liquor (GOAL), Mr Cliff Turner, complained to Canterbury Television Ltd about the
programme Welcome to Canterbury broadcast at 9.00am on 10 August.
Pointing out that the programme contained advertisements for eight liquor outlets which
contained visual and verbal references to liquor, GOAL maintained that eight such
advertisements in about 30 minutes constituted saturation advertising in breach of the
standards. Moreover, as four of the advertisements were broadcast consecutively, that
amounted to another breach. By broadcasting liquor advertisements at 9.00am, GOAL
continued, the programme breached rule 2 of the Advertising Standards Authority's Code
for Advertising Liquor.
CTV's Response to the Formal Complaint
CTV advised GOAL of its decision in a letter dated 18 November 1993.
Denying that eight references to liquor outlets in a programme which lasted 57 minutes
(not 30) constituted saturation advertising, CTV nevertheless did not accept that the
components complained about amounted to liquor advertisements. CTV concluded:
You will be aware that the Advertising Standards Authority is at this moment
considering the question of the Welcome to Canterbury programme, with a view to
determining what if any items within it offend against the pertinent standards.
We will be guided by the Authority in determining the composition of any future
programme of Welcome to Canterbury.
GOAL's Complaint to the Broadcasting Standards Authority
Dissatisfied with CTV's decision, in a letter dated 23 November 1993 Mr Turner on GOAL's
behalf referred the complaint to the Broadcasting Standards Authority under s.8(1)(a) of
the Broadcasting Act 1989.
Pointing out that the letter of complaint mentioned a period of "about 30 minutes", Mr
Turner referred to two of the Broadcasting Standards Authority's earlier decisions on
complaints about Welcome to Canterbury (Nos: 90/93 and 125/93), which contained an
implication that the components complained about were, in fact, liquor advertisements.
CTV's Response to the Authority
As is its practice, the Authority sought the broadcaster's response to the complaint. Its
letter is dated 24 November 1993 and CTV's response, 9 December.
CTV maintained that the programme segments complained about did not constitute
advertisements. It reported that the issue was before the Advertising Standards Complaints
Board and enclosed a copy of its submission to that Board.
In conclusion, it noted:
We currently await the Board's findings and would expect, subject to those
findings, to cooperate with the Board to format Welcome to Canterbury so as to
comply with its conclusions.
GOAL's Final Comment to the Authority
When asked to comment on CTV's reply, in a letter dated 17 December 1993 on GOAL's
behalf Mr Turner asked, if the programme did not contain "proper" advertisements, were
they paid for in "proper" money?
Mr Turner maintained that, under Decision No: 125/93, the segments complained about
were liquor advertisements and that the Act did not contain the dispensation CTV now