Warning on drink promotions in Victoria

With advertising and promotion of events on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter becoming more popular, licensees must be aware that the responsible liquor advertising and promotions guidelines set out by the VCGLR apply to social media.

There are clear standards and guidelines for licensees to follow when advertising or promoting liquor sales or events.

This includes advertisements and promotions created by promoters for licensees and any comments made by third parties.

The VCGLR has the power to ban advertisements or promotions that are deemed inappropriate and may also seek to vary, suspend or cancel a licence that is found to be encouraging the irresponsible consumption of alcohol.

When an inappropriate drink promotion is identified inspectors first raise the issue with the licensee reminding them about their obligations relating to public safety, public order, the responsible operation of licensed premises and detriment to amenity.

When approached about an inappropriate drink promotion, licensees are often cooperative with authorities and cancel the event, or remove the offending material, without being compelled to by an official banning notice.

Where a licensee chooses to continue with the promotion, and the Commission believes the advertising or promotion is likely to encourage irresponsible consumption of alcohol or are not in the public interest, then a formal banning notice is issued.

Venues who do not comply with a banning notice commit a criminal offence and can face penalties of up to $16,900.80.

In exercising these powers, the VCGLR will consider whether the promotion is in the public interest.