Ashleigh Barty news: Australian Open champion’s celebrations cause controversy
Ashleigh Barty was living her dream when she won the Australian Open, her home Grand Slam, for the first time, without dropping a single set throughout the whole tournament.
The world No 1 beat Danielle Collins in the final to become the first Australian women to win on home soil since Christine O’Neill claimed victory in Melbourne in 1978.
However, Barty’s celebrations after she won the major title have sparked complaints and controversy in her country as she’s been accused of glamorising alcohol as part of a PR stunt.
The 25-year-old joined Channel Nine commentators Casey Dellacqua and Alicia Molik in drinking beer live on TV, but the Alcohol Beverages Advertising Code (ABAC) in Australia were forced to investigate a complaint they received that questioned whether the three-time Grand Slam champion was getting paid to promote the brands of beer that were drunk.
“I think the segment glorified and glamorised alcohol and was very deceptive if it was indeed a paid promotion,” the complainant stated.
“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 Ash Barty is a role model for many girls too.”
Carlton & United Breweries weighed in on the row and denied that there was any sort of agreement between themselves and the Nine Network to promote their products during the Australian Open, despite one of their products being the official beer of the tournament.
“Carlton & United Breweries was not aware that our brands Peroni and Corona would be depicted in this or any other post-match interview,” a spokesperson for the beer company explained.
“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.”
They also added that they thought Barty was a “moderate and responsible consumer of alcohol.”
The ACAB acknowledged that there was no partnership between the TV broadcaster and the beer company and the complaint was dropped.
Barty is next due to play competitively at Indian Wells which starts next month on March 7 as she’s limiting the amount of competitions she plays in in order to spend more time at home.
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