Menu
News

Professor calls for ban on 'get wasted' alcohol apps

APPS with names like "Let's get Wasted!" and "Drink Thin" have led a James Cook University Professor to call for Government action on alcohol advertising on mobile devices.

JCU's Professor Lynne Eagle led a team studying free apps involving alcohol use and found nearly 80% promote heavy drinking.

Professor Eagle, whose research specialties include marketing communication effectiveness and the impact of persuasive communication on children, said there are no age restrictions on any of the apps.

She said many of the apps are clearly aimed at young people and likely to work well.

"Presenting smoking and drinking in an entertainment context encourages young people to start smoking and drinking. There is plenty of material showing that what they are doing is effective."

The study found that sophisticated advertising strategies are used by more than a third of the pro-alcohol apps, which are generally more carefully designed than anti-alcohol and pro-moderation apps.

The Let's Get Wasted app promotes heavy drinking.
The Let's Get Wasted app promotes heavy drinking.

 

Professor Eagle also said apps like "Drink Thin" - which promotes an alcohol-only diet - and "Drunk College Sorority Girls & Frat Boy Party Edition" blatantly encourage unhealthy, unsafe or violent behavior in concert with drinking.

The paper estimated some $100 million of alcohol tax revenue in 2010 came from underage drinkers.

Professor Eagle said self-regulation was failing and the Government had to step in and insist on effective measures.

"If the industry can't effectively regulate itself then it allows the cowboys to develop and use these apps. You don't want to have to wait for a generation of teens to start showing signs of problem drinking before you act."

 

Topics:  alcohol apps editors picks games and gadgets



Environment groups walk away from NSW forestry negotiations

LOGGING LOGGERHEAD: Peace between environment groups and the NSW Government is threatened.

Agreements between government and environmentalists threatened

Regions declared big winners in SCU funding deal

ALL SMILES: Professor Shoemaker is thrilled by the deal struck with the Federal Government.

Funding deal puts Allied Health campus in Coffs back on track

Swimmer missing at Valla while others rescued along Coast

An IRB is searching the waters at Valla Beach for a missing swimmer.

Search for missing man caught in Valla rip will start again at 6am.

Local Partners