Alcohol and Cancer ‘Could Happen to You’

Phase 2 of the Alcohol and Cancer campaign.

The ‘Could Happen to You’ Campaign, launched in March 2012, was the second phase of the Alcohol and Cancer Campaign.

The campaign was an expansion to the ‘Spread’ and ‘Stains’ Campaign and aimed to increase the personal relevance of the alcohol and cancer message, further encouraging people to stay at low risk of alcohol caused cancer and other diseases by having no more than two standard drinks on any day in accordance with the National Health and Medical Research Council’s (NHMRC) guideline for reducing the risk of alcohol-related harm over a lifetime.

The campaign continued to aim to reduce long-term harmful alcohol consumption by increasing awareness of the health risks related to alcohol consumption, with the focus that alcohol is carcinogenic; that there are a range of alcohol caused cancers; and every drink increases a person’s risk of developing alcohol caused cancer 1.

This campaign was developed by the Drug and Alcohol Office (DAO), in partnership with the Cancer Council of Western Australia (CCWA) and the Injury Control Council of Western Australia (ICCWA).

Key message

To stay at low risk of alcohol-caused cancers, have no more than two standard drinks on any day.

Target group

Adults aged 25 to 54 years.

Research shows that this age group don’t believe they are susceptible to long-term harm caused by drinking too much over a lifetime, and this campaign aimed to challenge this myth.

Campaign objectives


  • The vast majority of the community is taking out the correct message from the ad, with approximately nine in ten members of the community (91%) recalling the message “There is a link between drinking alcohol and getting cancer” as being part of the advertisement.
  • A significantly higher proportion mentioned two standard drinks as the guideline to minimise long-term health risk compared to previous evaluations.
  • Three quarters of the community now know the guideline for reducing the risk of long-term alcohol-related harm is drinking no more than two standard drinks on any day.
  • Approximately one in five drinkers (20%) have recently taken steps to reduce their alcohol intake.


Campaign Video
15 second TV Commercial

30 second TV Commercial

Related Information

Alcohol & Your Health

Harmful drinking can occur in the short-term and long-term. NHMRC released guidelines that give advice on minimising health consequences of drinking alcohol.

Alcohol and Your Long-Term Health

Regular and ongoing drinking can cause long term damage to organs.

Alcohol and Cancer

The Alcohol and Cancer campaign aims to increase personal relevance of links between alcohol and cancer and focusses on the long-term risks of harmful drinking.

What is a Standard Drink?

It is important to keep track of how much alcohol you drink. A standard drink measures the amount of pure alcohol in a drink not the amount of liquid.


National Health and Medical Research Council 2009, Australian Guidelines to Reduce Health Risks from Drinking Alcohol, Commonwealth of Australia 2009.

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