The YAAC Group

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What are they?

The YAAC Group have been showing that young people without great resources, money or connections, can successfully take on a multi-million pound industry and have their voices heard.

The YAAC (Youth Alcohol Advertising Council) is a a group of young people from across England and Wales that gets together to review alcohol advertising against the codes from a young person’s perspective, and challenges industry practices when necessary. Coordinated by Alcohol Concern, it gives young people the opportunity to decide if and when alcohol advertising steps beyond the rules. The aim is to assess how well the rules work, and possibly to create campaign momentum for a better code. YAAC meets every 3 months to review new adverts and the findings are sent to the Advertising Standards Authority, and published after each meeting.

Here is some of what they’ve done:

:- YAAC have had a number of pieces of irresponsible advertising removed from the websites and social media pages of drinks companies such as Fireball Whisky and Frotsy Jack’s Cider, for ignoring many of the rules that exist on how companies are allowed to advertise.

:- Three of YAAC’s last four findings convinced the ASA to order down social media content for Fireball UK. These were mainly against Facebook posts and website content that clearly promoted excessive drinking, including blogs explaining how important it is to get regularly drunk at university, and images like these:

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:- On the one hand, the fact that this sort of content is appearing so often on social networking sites highlights how problematic the codes are, and how many companies are taking advantage by doing advertising that would never be permissible through broadcast media.

:- YAAC have also had a great deal of media coverage, here, here and here for example, and have been the subject of a widely read report called Stick to The Facts, calling for changes to the way companies are allowed to advertise.

Award

We can now refer to the YAAC as the MULTI-AWARD WINNING YAAC. In June 2014 the group won The Princess Diana award for Active Campaigner and in February 2015, the group was able to fight off strong competitors from Russell Brand’s New Era Housing estate campaign, Save Lewisham Hospital and 38 Degrees, to win the Shelia McKechnie People’s Choice award.
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Can I get Involved?

YAAC is an open and participatory group made up of young people 19 years and under from across England and Wales that are interested in how alcohol impacts society. We are certainly keen for new people to join…. No specific qualifications are required, just a willingness to get involved and have your say. If you’re interested at becoming involved in YAAC’s work, get in touch at drinktalking@alcoholconcern.org.uk