Advertising alcohol specials this festive season

by bqmedia

By Matthew Bradford, Mullins Lawyers (07) 3224 0353

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, which means popping the bubbles and visiting some of your favourite clubs for a very merry soirée! With that being said, I want to remind clubs and venues of the rules surrounding the advertisement of alcohol promotions this festive season.

Your obligations

As a liquor licensee, you have an obligation to practice and promote responsible drinking on your premises. More specifically, licensed clubs must not advertise the following outside of the venue:

  • free liquor, or multiple quantities of liquor such as “two for one” deals;
  • the sale price of liquor for consumption on the premises; or
  • promotions offering discounted drinks such as “happy hour” or “all you can drink”.

These types of specials may be advertised inside the premises, so long as the advertisement is not visible or audible outside of the premises, including through the venue’s digital marketing. Clubs need to ensure that whoever oversees their website and social media pages are aware of the restrictions around what can and cannot be advertised outside the premises.

Exceptions

Despite the general prohibition on advertising outside the premises for alcoholic specials available at your venue, licensees may advertise “meal and drink” packages in the following circumstances:

  • A meal and one alcoholic drink up to 1.5 standard drinks;
  • A meal for two and a standard bottle of wine or champagne, in which case the meal must be eaten in a designated dining area on the premises; or
  • A package offering accommodation and a standard bottle of wine or champagne.

In such cases, the alcohol is considered secondary to the meal or accommodation. However, the meal must be substantial enough to be considered a proper meal, so just offering appetisers or a plate from the tapas menu is not sufficient. Caution should be taken to ensure that any such promotion outside the premises does not hint at the possibility that other drinks specials may be available on the premises. We regularly work with bowls clubs and other venues to create or assist with plans and policies addressing the advertising, service and promotion of alcohol at their premises.

These documents are a helpful tool to ensure that your staff and relevant contractors, such as promoters and third party marketing professionals, all know the legal obligations that you must satisfy when advertising alcohol and meal and drinks packages. Like a Risk Assessed Management Plan (RAMP), such documents are kept on-premises and given to all employees as part of their training.

If you require assistance to develop policies for your club, or if you have any other questions, then please do not hesitate to contact me on (07) 3224 0353.