Centre for Health and Social Research

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Lunchtime Research Seminar - May

No Excuse Needed – a social norms approach to alcohol social marketing

Alcohol consumption is viewed as acceptable in almost all social situations and often there is little encouragement for people to drink at low risk levels. People who take a break or abstain from alcohol are often questioned or singled out for their choice because it’s seen as unusual. Social norms theory seeks to influence behaviour by altering perceptions of what is considered ‘normal’ behaviour. This and other approaches were applied in the creation of No Excuse Needed, a mass media campaign developed by VicHealth in partnership with the Victorian Government. The campaign targeted Victorians aged 16-29 via paid media, public relations, social media and stakeholder communications. Rather than normalising binge-drinking or using shock tactics, this campaign adopted a positive and humorous tone aiming to normalise low risk drinking and portray this as a desirable activity of the majority. It also challenged the social pressure many people feel to drink. This presentation will share the formative research journey and evaluation data from a pre and post campaign survey.

Emma Saleeba

Emma has spent six years working in government, and a further thirteen years in statutory agencies and the non-government sector across a range of public health roles including preventing tobacco use and preventing harm from alcohol. Holding a Masters degree in Public Health, Emma’s experience spans health promotion advocacy, policy advice, program development and evaluation. Emma is currently the Manager of Alcohol and Tobacco at VicHealth, the world’s first statutory health promotion agency.

Wednesday May 18

12:00 pm for a 12:30 start


ACU Main Campus
115 Victoria Parade, Fitzroy
Level 2, Room 15



Lunch will be provided. Please advise of special dietary requirements when you RSVP.



Christina Brennan
+61 3 9953 3699

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