25 Apr 2018

Olympian's part in beer promotion breaches advertising code

5:39 am on 25 April 2018

A beer advert featuring double Olympic gold medallist, Eric Murray, has found to be breaching the Advertising Code.

Eric Murray in the 'Beer the Beautiful Truth' campaign.

Eric Murray in the 'Beer the Beautiful Truth' campaign. Photo: Beer the Beautiful Truth

Mr Murray features in the 'Beer the Beautiful Truth' campaign and has appeared in adverts for brands DB and Lion.

Alcohol Healthwatch laid a complaint about the adverts stating the code for promotion of alcohol prohibits advertising that uses heroes of the young.

Alcohol Healthwatch executive director Nicki Jackson said Mr Murray appeared in the adverts at the same time as engaging directly with young people through his work in New Zealand schools.

"Prohibiting heroes of the young featuring in alcohol advertisements is intended to protect adolescents from the harmful effects of alcohol advertising."

"Research shows that the more adolescents are exposed to alcohol advertising, the more likely they are to drink heavily," Ms Jackson said.

Mr Murray won gold in rowing at the 2012 London and 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games - he spoke about his experiences at school visits through sponsor, ANZ.

Alcohol Healthwatch is satisfied with the Advertising Standards Authority Complaints Board decision but it has had little to no impact she said.

"The decision took six weeks and the campaign has since ended - this is just another example illustrating the failure of an alcohol industry self-regulation approach to advertising complaints.

"New Zealanders should not feel assured that the alcohol industry is protecting our young people from the harm of alcohol advertising," Ms Jackson said.

"I hope the decision will send a strong signal to other celebrities not to engage in alcohol advertising if they also have a strong youth appeal," she said.