Ashleigh Barty’s Australian Open celebrations spark national outrage
Ashleigh Barty caused controversy Down Under after her Australian Open celebrations received a complaint that she was glorifying alcohol as part of “a paid PR stunt.”
World number one Barty ended Australia’s 44-year-long wait for a home women’s champion when she added a maiden Australian Open to her trophy cabinet, making her the first Australian woman to win the Slam since Christine O’Neill in 1978.
As such, she celebrated by drinking beer on live television with Channel Nine commentators and former players Casey Dellacqua and Alicia Molik.
However, after receiving a complaint that questioned whether the television network and three-time Slam titlist Barty were sponsored by the brand of beer that was being consumed, the Australian Alcohol Beverages Advertising Code (ABAC) were forced to investigate.
The complaint read “I think the segment glorified and glamorised alcohol and was very deceptive if it was indeed a paid promotion.
“Why else are they doing it if it wasn’t a paid stunt?
“It’s poor when many children were up watching the final and Ashleigh Barty is a role model for many girls too.”
Despite one of their products being the official beer of the Slam, in response to the complaint Carlton and United Breweries, the brand being drank, have denied that there was any such agreement between themselves and Channel Nine to promote their products.
A spokesperson for the alcohol company said “Carlton and United Breweries was not aware that our brands Peroni and Corona would be depicted in this or any other post-match interview.
“We were not contacted by Channel Nine with respect to any reference to our brands.
“Many Australians enjoy drinking beer responsibly, and we reject the notion that depicting panellists taking moderate sips of beer on television in any way constitutes irresponsible or offensive behaviour.”
In addition, they also added that they believe Barty is a “moderate and responsible consumer of alcohol.”
Ultimately, the ABAC recognised there was no partnership and the complaint was dropped.
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