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Byron Shire
June 16, 2021

Dan Murphy’s withdraws ‘targeted’ truck ads

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The massive ad blitz by Dan Murphy’s across Byron Shire has hit a snag, with complaints around its truck advertising campaign in front of schools and a skatepark, leading to them being withdrawn. 

Parent company of Dan Murphy’s is Endeavour Group, which in turn is owned by Woolworths.

Byron Bay Liquor Accord members have raised concerns over Dan Murphy’s truck placement outside schools and a skatepark

While no store exists in Byron, the company tried unsuccessfully to establish one – The Echo reported in 2012 that a liquor bottle shop development application (DA) was rejected by the Office of Gaming and Racing (OLGR) and came with considerable community opposition.

The Echo asked Endeavour Group, ‘How does this [truck] marketing, which appears targeted to minors, align with the company’s Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) commitment?’ 

A company spokesperson replied to The Echo: ‘We are now investigating the compliance of our media supplier and sincerely apologise if our high standards of responsibility have not been met’.

‘In response to community feedback, we have withdrawn the vans and scooters that were part of Dan Murphy’s mobile billboard campaign in Byron Bay.

‘We only work with suppliers who adhere to these robust measures, and on this occasion we used a supplier for the campaign who has worked with many other alcohol brands.

‘Our ambition is to be Australia’s most responsible retailer of alcoholic beverages, which means that we have strict measures around restricting the marketing, advertising and selling of alcohol to customers of legal age only. We adhere to the Alcohol Beverages Advertising Code (ABAC) and the Outdoor Media Association Placement Policy’.

President of the Byron Bay Liquor Accord (BBLA), Matt Hunt, told The Echo, the company contacted them, and subsequently they were invited to the BBLA AGM last week.

He said, ‘A lot of concerns were raised about their marketing’.

‘We invite all licensees to contact us if they notice anything regarding inappropriate marketing and the like’. 

Mr Hunt, who also operates The Loft, says BBLA can act as conduit between the company and community.

One of the agreements with Dan Murphy’s, he added, is that they would not sell cask wines or super cheap wine. 

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  1. It was extreme hypocrisy and protectionism for Dan Murphy to have been banned in Byron Bay. Likewise knocking back a licence for Aldi. It has always amused me to hear the rear guard reaction from the Byron Liquor Accord no less!

    And how many of our outraged citizenry make sure they stock up on supplies when in Ballina.

    What did people expect Dan Murphy’s would do? I’ve been waiting for the pile on about the ads in the Echo.

    • The Dan Murphys and ALDI liquor licence applications were assed by the NSW Liquor and Gaming and were refused for a variety of valid issues but overall on the “overall social impact of the licence, authorisation or approval being granted will be detrimental to the well-being of the local or broader community.”

      The independent review board that made the Dan Murphys decision was headed by Mr Chris Sidoti, his bio is extremely impressive (see below), and I don’t see that he would be making decisions based in either hypocrisy or protectionism –

      Adjunct Professor Chris Sidoti is a human rights lawyer, advocate and teacher. He currently works from Sydney, Australia, as an international human rights consultant, specialising in the international human rights system and in national human rights institutions.

      He is currently a member pf the United Nations Human Rights Council’s Independent International Fact Finding Mission on Myanmar. He was also a member of the Board of the United Nations Voluntary Fund for Technical Cooperation in the Field of Human Rights from 2012 to 2017. He is an adjunct professor at the Australian Catholic University.
      He has been Australian Human Rights Commissioner (1995-2000), Australian Law Reform Commissioner (1992-1995) and Foundation Director of the Australian Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (1987-1992). He has also worked in non-government organisations, including as director of the International Service for Human Rights, based in Geneva, Switzerland, and for the Human Rights Council of Australia and the Australian Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace. In 2007-08 he was the independent chair of the United Kingdom Government’s Northern Ireland Bill of Rights Forum.

      • Darren, I had no intention of criticising Chris Sidoti. However I’d suspect that the community reaction played a big part in the decision of the board. After all there are many many Aldis with licences (how many without one?) and many Dan Murphy’s dotted around the country. I can’t see that these townships have demonstrably any less social impacts from alcohol or youth drinking than Byron Bay does.

        I just find it amazing to hear the case being made for the evils and dangers of alcohol by a group that includes the local retailers of this evil substance. If it’s such a problem perhaps we should make Byron Bay an alcohol free zone.

        I would suggest that much of the outrage was based on the notion of competition and a tendency of some of the community to oppose everything in a knee jerk way. (Then go to the nearest town, because they’re all quite mobile, and take advantage of the better range and prices).

  2. And you guys – the Echo promot Dan Murphy everywhere ,actually right here at the bottom of the article.
    Will the Echo print anything for the right money? Where do you draw the line?

  3. What a joke!
    The BBLA is there to cover for the local pub Oligarchs who, on a nightly basis, spill ill mannered, drunken idiots onto our streets at closing time.
    Indeed, trips to Ballina include a grog run to avoid being over charged by said Oligarchs.
    Has the BBLA protested Justin Hemmes recent launch into town?

  4. Even better – I saw a Dan Murphy’s ad at the bottom of this story and above the comments section as part of the Echo’s web advertising. And another one below this section!

  5. Which group? All the whinging old females from the temperance society? I thought they petered out in the 1890’s. Didn’t know they were still going.

    • Excuse me, Bob – I can assure you that this old whinging female is not a member of the temperance society! No need to bring sexist and ageist profiling into the equation. I’m sure the majority of those leading the chorus are not TTs.

  6. Cartels exist for a reason, so they can control the supply and set the price of their product. Competition is suppressed by whatever method works. The alliance between the cartel and the local wowsers doesn’t serve the interests of the majority particularly those of us who cannot afford to pay extortionate prices.


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