ALAC Had Enough to Drink in New Zealand?

ALAC (Alcohol Advisory Council of New Zealand) has launched a TV advertising campaign reminding the public how easily social drinking can go wrong. “It’s not what we’re drinking, it’s how we’re drinking.”

Danny in ALAC TV ad

“These commercials are unpleasant but so are the consequences of binge drinking,” ALAC CEO Gerard Vaughan says. “The ads mirror what is happening, unfortunately, every week around this country. It is time to be brutally honest about some of the worst effects of intoxication.” A house party goes horribly wrong when Mark offers his nephew a flight around the living room. Lisa, under the influence of alcohol, finally succumbs to the predatory male in the bar.Danny’s time at the pub with mates turns into a drunken rage.

Vaughan says the three television commercials focus on transformation – when good times turn bad.

“Each follows one person through from when they start drinking to when they finish. During this time, there is a ‘tipping point’ when harmless behaviour become harmful – to themselves and others. We see how the situation changes as the individual makes poor choices as a result of the alcohol consumed. Despite the success of previous advertising, the message has yet to get through to many people about the cost, not only to the country, but personal and family costs to health and happiness, from excessive drinking,” Mr Vaughan says. “Previous advertising has focused on ‘softer’ consequences such as embarrassment and regret. The new campaign focuses on more serious stark realities.”

Lisa in ALAC TV ad

The commercials feature an 0800 number (freephone 0800 787 797) and website (going live on 7 April 2008) The 0800 number directs callers to the Alcohol Drug Helpline, while the campaign website has information about binge drinking, where to go for help, being a responsible host, managing your drinking, and campaign materials. Each of the three ads is available to download in Quicktime and Windows Media formats.

Mark in ALAC TV ad


The campaign was developed at Clemenger BBDO Wellington, by executive creative director Philip Andrew, creative director Mark Harricks, copywriters/art directors Brigid Alkema and Paul Young, agency producer Christina Hazard.

Filming was shot by Adam Stevens via Robber’s Dog, with producer Mark Foster.

  • Jmay

    I think these ad campaigns are extremly successful. Yes they use shock tactics but the leave a resonance in the mind of the viewer. Since seeing these ads especially the one where the woman is raped (which applies to my girl friends and our lifestyle) i am now more cautious of making sure i actually see my friend get in a taxi at the end of a big night out.
    I also thought that the ads that had been done previously in NZ targeting drinking were very memorable and applicable also…. i have heard many people have talk about both campaigns in a way that is memorable to them.. i mean everyone remembers who Dennis from accounts is…

  • deadthevideo

    A statement was recently released that stated that following a ruling by the Advertising Standards Authority, the ALAC, TVCAB, Clemenger BBDO and TVNZ have taken the joint decision to restrict screenings of these ads until after the New Zealand 8:30 p.m. watershed. The question is ‘was this the right thing to do?’ Binge drinking is a serious problem and it is not restricted to New Zealand. It also happens here in Northern Ireland. The ALAC argued that these ads should be shown at a time when the whole family would be watching so that parents have the time to explain to their children the effects of binge drinking but the moaners struck. A minority of the Advertising Standards Authority were in agreement with the ALAC but were overruled by the majority. A bit hypocritical considering the Advertising Standards Authority usually doesn’t ‘condemn’ adverts made in the public interest. Again, children should see these ads. To the brewing industry, they represent the next generation of consumer and should be exposed to the personal and professional costs of excessive drinking.