Poll suggests Aussies would back bans on junk food, gambling and alcohol TV advertising

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A new poll suggests the majority of Australians would like to see more restrictions or bans on TV advertising featuring gambling, junk food and alcohol.

Carried out by The Australia Institute think tank, the online survey asked a nationally weighted sample of more than 1,000 people whether they agreed or disagreed with five statements about banning certain types of TV advertising.

The results suggest the current ban on tobacco advertisements remains popular with nearly three-quarters of respondents — or 74 per cent — supporting keeping it in place.

Labor, Coalition and Greens voters had a similar level of agreement about the ban, while only a slim majority — 52 per cent — of One Nation voters supported it.

A graph showing agree and disagree for different kinds of ads

Some 71 per cent of respondents agreed with the suggestion that gambling advertisements on TV should be banned. Only 11 per cent of those surveyed disagreed.

Broadcasters already have to follow rules that limit when and where they can advertise gambling or betting odds.

But the appropriateness of the rules often enters the political debate at this time of the year, as more Australians tune in for football finals.

A graph comparing the opinions of voters of different poltical parties when it comes to advertising

A proposed ban on junk food advertising during children’s TV watching hours is another idea that’s often floated in Canberra.

About two-thirds of respondents to the survey agreed that it would be a good idea.

Support was highest among Greens voters, 72 per cent and there were similar levels of agreement among people who vote for the major parties.

Banning alcohol advertisements was a less popular proposition. Just over half — 51 per cent — agreed with the idea.

Only 41 per cent supported banning advertisements that promote fossil fuels.

Teals pushing for more restrictions on advertising

Zoe Daniel
Victorian MP Zoe Daniel says she has seen the “scourge” of sports betting impact on teenagers.

Two newly elected teal independents are pushing for more restrictions on types of advertising.

Victorian MP Zoe Daniel would like a fresh parliamentary inquiry into the promotion of sports gambling.

She says the “scourge” of sports betting hit home during the election campaign when her 15-year-old son revealed his schoolmates had placed bets on her chances of winning the Victorian seat of Goldstein from Liberal Assistant Minister Tim Wilson.

“I told him he should certainly not join in,” Ms Daniel said.

“I am deeply concerned about the normalisation of sports gambling and the proximity of gambling advertising to broadcast sport, particularly AFL and ARL football codes.

“When children are having conversations about sports betting “multis”, wanting to set up sports betting apps on their phones and even betting on the federal election, we have an issue.”

Sydney MP Sophie Scamps, who was a GP on the city’s northern beaches, is trying to get more regulations around junk food to stop childhood obesity.

“This [survey] does show there is a lot of public support,” she said.

“As a GP I want to see young children grow up healthy and strong. We know that being overweight and obese is one of the major causes of chronic disease.”

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