Posted: 10:35 am on 30th October 2013

beerTackling binge drinking seems to be all the rage right now. Recently, WasteWatch brought you news of the lucky Perth market research company that received $451,000 to conduct ‘formative research’ on binge drinking.

But the government expenditure doesn’t stop there.

The Australian National Preventative Health Agency has recently signed a contract with a Surfers Paradise company, wonderfully called Outdoor Revolutions Pty Ltd.

Putting to one side those latent fears of the political fringe that would quickly see a conspiracy between public servant nanny staters, long-haired unemployed surfies, and young latte-sipping revolutionaries born just a generation or two too late, WasteWatch investigated this contract a little further.

It turns out Outdoor Revolutions is an event marketing company. They received $132,000 of your money, dear reader, to advertise against binge drinking onscreen at stadiums during major events, as part of the ‘Be the Influence’ campaign against binge drinking.

Poking around the campaign’s website, WasteWatch found that ‘Be the Influence’ is also running a photo competition. Entrants are invited to submit photos of their ‘memorable moments’ from One Direction concerts.

Photos must not show alcohol, nor drunken people, nor people under the age of 13. Photos must promote the anti-binge drinking message of the campaign. Winners receive One Direction merchandise and One Direction Parfume, worth some $150 (of taxpayer money).

So, to recap: a group of surfer-revolutionaries have been given more than twice the average yearly income of working Australians, in order to show anti-binge drinking ads to screaming tweens at One Direction concerts.

Or perhaps the ads are targeted at those harried parents, forced to chaperone their children through an evening of saccharine pop, who can think of nothing else but cracking a cold one when they finally get home that night.

If the squealing kiddies manage to get a photo sans alcohol at these notoriously drunken concerts (ha!), the taxpayer will graciously bestow more One Direction merchandise on them.

WasteWatch can’t think of a better use of taxpayer money. Can you?

William Shrubb, Research Assistant, WasteWatch

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