Ash Barty's Australian Open beer controversy takes bizarre twist

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·Sports Reporter
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Ash Barty (pictured) drinking a beer during an after her Australian Open title triumph.
A complaint was made criticising the beer placement during Ash Barty's (pictured) interview with Channel Nine after her Australian Open title triumph. (Image: Channel Nine)

The drama over Ash Barty enjoying a beer following her historic Australian Open title has taken another twist after the incident was reported to an alcohol watchdog.

Barty defeated American Danielle Collins 6-3, 7-6 (7-2) in the final to become the first home winner of the Australian Open since Chris O'Neil in 1978.

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The Australian Open trophy is Barty's third grand slam accompanying her Roland Garros and Wimbledon triumphs.

The historic moment was celebrated across the nation and Barty eventually joined the Channel Nine crew to talk about her achievement.

Barty was offered a beer during the segment and she accepted the beverage to celebrate the moment with her close friend Casey Dellacqua and Alicia Molik.

Many fans loved the moment and insisted it showed the down-to-earth side of Barty that has endeared the Aussie to fans around the world.

However, former Australian Idol host Mathison argued that it only helped to glamorise alcohol and sent the wrong message to youngsters watching at home.

While Mathison's comment certainly sparked a debate about alcoholic beverages on screen, the argument fizzled out in the wake of Barty's unifying achievement.

Ash Barty interview investigated

Now, the Alcohol Beverages Adverting Code (ABAC) has released its findings after investigating the incident due to a complaint.

The ABAC were looking into the placement of the Corona and Peroni beers during the Channel Nine segment with Barty.

The complaint claimed: "The segment glorified and glamorised alcohol and was very deceptive if it was a paid promotion."

However, Carlton & United Breweries responded and said it does not have a partnership or agreement with Channel 9 relating to the promotion of our products during the Australian Open broadcast.

Peroni, however, is an official sponsor of the Australian Open.

Ash Barty (pictured) right) poses with Evonne Goolagong Cawley (pictured left) during the trophy presentation at the Australian Open.
Ash Barty (pictured) right) poses with Evonne Goolagong Cawley (pictured left) during the trophy presentation at the Australian Open. (Photo by Andy Cheung/Getty Images)

But, the company claimed there is no official agreement for product placement in post-match interviews.

Therefore, the ABAC deemed that the segment did not breach code and dismissed the complaint.

Furthermore, addressing the concern of 'glorifying alcohol', the investigation found: "Many Australians enjoy drinking beer responsibly, and we reject the notion that depicting panelists taking moderate sips of beer on television in any way constitutes irresponsible or offensive behaviour."

The investigation also found that the interview took place at 9.45pm, which is a time slot in which alcohol can be advertised.

Following the Barty segment in January, Mathison argued that it only helped to glamorise alcohol and sent the wrong message to youngsters watching at home.

Ash Barty (pictured) poses with the Australian Open trophy.
Ash Barty (pictured) became the first Aussie to win the Australian Open in 44 years. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

“Our glorification and glamorisation of alcohol in this country is normalised to the point where we can’t even celebrate success without booze on live TV. It’s bizarre,” Mathison posted on Twitter.

“Imagine if this was in Canada and the broadcaster hoisted a joint onto their new champion?”

After the initial backlash from his controversial take, Mathison offered a follow-up point to explain his concern.

“I think I was trying to highlight how booze, which has enormous health, economic and family impacts get lionised yet all other ‘drugs’, many less harmful are maligned.”

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