Advertising Liquor Promotions During the Holiday Period

As featured in the Queensland Bowler magazine

Given we are in the festive period, we thought it would be a timely reminder to recap the rules on advertising and promoting alcohol at Bowls Clubs. With many clubs promoting their premises as the most suitable location for special events during this period, it’s important to note the restrictions around promoting alcohol in Queensland.

Obligations for alcohol advertising and promotions

As a licensee, clubs have an obligation to ensure alcohol is supplied and promoted in a way that minimises harm and preserves peace and good order around a club. Whilst the Liquor Act does not prevent clubs from promoting activities that encourage patronage, there are several restrictions on advertising alcohol outside a club to ensure it is done in a way that minimise harm. Specifically, clubs must not advertise the following outside their premises:

  • free liquor or multiple quantities of liquor (e.g., two for one deals);
  • the sale price of liquor for consumption at the club; or
  • promotions for discounted drinks such as a ‘happy hour’ or ‘all you can drink’ deals.

These liquor specials can be advertised within the club’s premises, so long as the advertisement is not visible or audible outside the premises (this includes a club’s website and social media pages). We suggest your club’s marketing team are made aware of the restrictions on advertising and promoting alcohol on social media, particularly if marketing is handled by a third party.

Exceptions to liquor promotion restrictions

There is an exception to the prohibition on advertising outside the club’s premises for drink specials where the club is advertising ‘meal and drink’ packages. Specifically:

  • a meal and one alcoholic drink up to 1.5 standard drinks;
  • a package offering accommodation and a 750ml standard bottle of wine or champagne; or
  • a meal for two and 750ml standard bottle of wine or champagne.

It is important to ensure that the meal in the package is a full-size meal and any promotion does not refer to other drinks specials that are available at the club.

Promotions with prizes of alcohol

Your club may host reward promotions as long as they don’t encourage excessive consumption of alcohol or promote intoxication. Permitted promotions include:

  • raffles where the prize is free liquor; and
  • ‘buy one get one free’ promotions.

Low-risk promotions are also allowed, such as:

  • ‘beer of the month’ brand switching to encourage trialling a new product; and
  • loyalty reward programs conducted over more than 1 trading day.

The Mullins Hospitality team can help your Bowls Club with its obligations when it comes to advertising and promoting alcohol for special events during the holiday period. Please contact me on 07 3224 0353 for any queries.

“The content of this publication is for reference purposes only. It is current at the date of publication. This content does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Legal advice about your specific circumstances should always be obtained before taking any action based on this publication.”
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