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The Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR) is the independent statutory authority that regulates Victoria's gambling and liquor industries.

Our vision is that Victorians and visitors enjoy safe and responsible gambling and liquor environments.
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Alcohol advertising near schools

Other related content
Liquor

It is an offence under the Liquor Control Reform Act 1998 (the Act) for anyone to display (or cause to be displayed) static alcohol advertising within 150 metres of the perimeter of a school for any direct or indirect financial benefit.

Alcohol advertising is defined as any information, term, expression, symbol or other thing that gives publicity to, or otherwise promotes liquor.

What is static advertising?

Static advertising includes (but is not limited to):

  • banners, billboards, hoardings, signs, images or rolling static displays;
  • digital billboards and panels including those that display moving or video images; and
  • moveable billboards and displays (e.g. A-frame moveable display boards).

It does not include:

  • broadcast television, radio or digital media such as websites or social media; and
  • commercial print media such as magazines and newspapers.

What is a school?

A “school” is defined under the Education and Training Reform Act 2006 to mean a place at or from which education is provided to children of compulsory school age (i.e. not less than six years old and no more than 17 years old) during normal school hours, but does not include places such as a:

  • place at which registered home schooling takes place; or
  • university or TAFE institute.

Note that kindergartens and child care centres are excluded from the definition of a “school” unless they form part of a school as defined above.

How do I know if I am within 150 metres of a school?

A list of all schools and their locations is available on the data.vic website.

The 150 metres is measured as a straight-line distance from the perimeter of a school. You may be able to use free mapping software to assist you to measure the distance from a school perimeter (e.g.Google Maps).

Are there any exceptions to this rule?

The prohibition does not apply to static advertising that is:

  • a logo, emblem or product name on a building that is occupied by a person conducting a business that is associated with the supply of liquor;
  • alcohol advertising within a licensed premises or on the exterior of a licensed premises;
  • alcohol advertising on an item of clothing worn by a person;
  • alcohol advertising on a vehicle in transit through an area within 150 metres of a school, travelling to a destination; and
  • alcohol advertising at a sporting ground or racecourse.

A two year transition period applies to advertising displayed under a alcohol advertising contract entered into before 28 March 2018.

I’m not sure if my advertisement is prohibited…

The VCGLR cannot authorise or provide advice regarding whether or not your advertising breaches the Act.

If you have reviewed the information on the VCGLR website and are still unsure of whether your advertising is prohibited, you might wish to consider not advertising until you have obtained independent legal advice.

A person found to have breached the advertising ban could face a fine of up to 120 penalty units (over $19,000 in 2018-19).

Examples of advertising

The following examples are designed to provide some guidance on the types of advertising that may and may not be lawful.

Situation

The following scenarios take place within 150 metres of a school perimeter

Is it prohibited by the Act?

Why?

An A-frame poster set up on a footpath advertising a ‘$5 wines’ happy hour special

Yes, it is prohibited

The advertising is static advertising and promotes liquor

A moveable footpath barrier that contains the name of a business, where the business name includes words such as ‘wine’ or ‘beer’, etc.

Yes, it is prohibited

The name of the business gives publicity to, or otherwise promotes liquor, and the barrier is a moveable display, therefore, it is prohibited static alcohol advertising

A poster in the interior window of a pub advertising a new cocktail

No, it is not prohibited

The advertising is occurring within the licensed premises so the prohibition does not apply, even though the venue is located within 150 metres of the perimeter of a school

A rotating sign on the top of a pub with the name of a beer company

No, it is not prohibited

The advertising is on the exterior of a licensed premises so the prohibition does not apply even though the venue is located within 150 metres of the perimeter of a school

A billboard situated above a road which advertises a special on sparkling wine at the local bottle shop

Yes, it is prohibited

The advertising is static advertising and promotes liquor

A sign attached to the exterior of a bar advertising the name of the bar

No, it is not prohibited

The advertising is on the exterior of the licensed premises or it is a logo, emblem or product name on a building that is occupied by a person conducting a business that is associated with the supply of liquor, therefore, the prohibition does not apply even though the venue is located within 150 metres of the perimeter of a school

A banner displayed in a school auditorium for a performance where the banner states “sponsored by x cocktail bar”. The performance is an unlicensed event

Yes, it is prohibited

The advertising is static advertising and the business name gives publicity to, or otherwise promotes liquor

A primary school is holding a school fete and has obtained a temporary liquor licence. A banner is displayed at a stall located within the licensed area that states “beer for sale”

No, it is not prohibited

The advertising is displayed within the specific area of the school licensed under the temporary licence, therefore, it is advertising within a licensed premises as the school has obtained a temporary liquor licence, therefore, the prohibition does not apply

Static alcohol advertising prohibition flowchart

This flowchart (PDF, 183.48 KB) may assist you in determining whether your advertising may be prohibited under section 115B of the Liquor Control Reform Act 1998. You are encouraged to use this flowchart to assess each advertising you intend to display: