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01/09/2016

Make AVMSD healthy

The ongoing revision of the AVMSD provides a unique opportunity to address better alcohol marketing across Europe.

Exposure to alcohol advertising increases the likelihood that young people start drinking at an earlier age, and to drink more if they already consume alcohol.

The European Alcohol Policy Alliance (Eurocare) welcomes the revision of the current Directive and hopes that it will result in a better framework for minimising the adverse impact of alcohol commercial communication especially on young people.

Eurocare acknowledges some positive developments in terms of the language used by the European Commission’s proposed text for AVMSD (COM (2016)0287), namely the notion of ‘exposure’ to alcohol marketing. However, European Commission’s proposal, presented in May 2016, encourages mainly self-regulation. To date self-regulation and voluntary commitments failed to solve important health challenges.

European Alcohol Policy Alliance strongly believes that a number of enhancements can and should be made to the current proposal in order to ensure that it regulates better commercial communication of alcoholic beverages.

  • Minimise exposure of health-harmful marketing to youth

Mandatory measures are needed to minimise exposure of health-harmful marketing to youth, regardless of whether the advertising is directly aimed at them or not. Measures should cover television, on-demand services and online video-sharing platforms and include an EU- (e.g. between 6:00 and 23:00). Due to their very nature, self-regulation and voluntary commitments to date have failed to solve important health challenges.

  • Exclude alcohol and HFSS[1] food from product placement and sponsorship

Product placement and sponsorship of alcoholic beverages and HFSS food are effective marketing techniques. Product placement and sponsorship for these products should be subject to the same provisions currently governing tobacco and medicinal products.

  • Ensure that Member States can effectively limit broadcasts from other countries on public health grounds

The efforts of frontrunner governments to reduce the negative health effects of alcohol and HFSS foods marketing may not be undermined by broadcasters established in other countries. The European Commission proposal to this effect should be supported.

[1] Food high in fat, trans-fatty acids, salt or sodium and sugars