Understanding the Guidelines for Liquor Promotions | RSA Online NSW

RSA Online NSW | Social gatherings are an important part of keeping a community bonded together. Events such as festivals, concerts, food and beverage functions and parades celebrate the spirit of the community and enrich the local social culture; bringing people from different backgrounds together. Liquor promotions are one of these activities – whether you’re aware of it or not, you’ve come across them at least once in your life, and may have possibly taken part in them. Liquor promotions are popular during social events. From the typical happy hour to a seasonal beer festival, liquor promotions are social gatherings and these events wouldn’t be the same without them.

Because of the prevalence of liquor promotions, there are a set of rules and guidelines to be followed when promoting these activities. These guidelines also outline the responsibilities of a liquor promotion in regards to its marketing tone, language and materials usage. Let’s take a look at the breakdown:


Liquor promotions shouldn’t have a marketing strategy appeal targeting minors. This is intended to curtail any marketing that aims to entice minors into drinking, which is illegal and highly irresponsible. Marketing materials for liquor promotions should not have a design element or font aimed at minors, which may be reflected in the design, name, motifs, or characters (copyrighted or otherwise) used in the material.


Liquor promotions need to adhere to standards of decency – offensive material must not be displayed during the marketing of the liquor promotion. For example, pamphlets, flyers and posters, should not feature photos of the human body that is extremely revealing or suggestive.


Non-standard measures should be avoided in liquor promotion. There are standard measures available for barware and stemware, deviating from these drink measures is discouraged. Examples of non-standard measures are yard glasses and water pistols, which encourage irresponsible drinking.


Liquor promotions are discouraged from using emotive language that encourages irresponsible drinking. For example, slogans featuring the phrase “drink like a fish” or “drink ‘til you drop”; are phrases that insinuate to the prospective participant that drinking in excess is ok in the liquor promotion, and this should be avoided.


While these marketing tricks aren’t technically disallowed, using free drinks or extremely discounted prices, such as giving away extra drinks when a certain amount of drinks are purchased or severe price drop per drink, can encourage rapid consumption of alcohol. These tactics should be reconsidered when marketing liquor promotions.


A liquor promotion isn’t supposed to encourage irresponsible or rapid consumption of alcohol.


Liquor promotions that rely on marketing-focused activities that aren’t in the public’s interest should be scrubbed. This includes marketing themes that encourage unlawful activity, antisocial or violent behaviour, or consuming alcohol along with illicit drugs. Promotions that feature these sorts of material are deemed extremely irresponsible for advocating bad behaviour and could, in fact, encourage unpleasant misbehaviour.

These are the seven principles highlighting the responsibilities of liquor promotion. Irresponsible liquor promotions are unacceptable, and liquor licensees found to be running irresponsible liquor promotions can face hefty fines or licence revocation.

More information regarding alcohol service guidelines can be accessed through RSA online NSW courses or through the official website of the Liquor and Gaming NSW.