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19/01/2018

Swedish White Paper proposes limiting alcohol advertising in social media

A prohibition of commercial advertising in social media for alcoholic beverages and alcoholic substances is proposed in a White Paper submitted to the government.

The White Paper on certain alcohol and marketing issues has, inter alia, been responsible for proposing how children and young people (up to 25 years), in particular, be better protected than today from the promotion of alcohol in digital media.

- Children and young people should not be exposed to alcohol advertising. When technology and development go ahead, politics and legislation must follow. I am therefore pleased with concrete proposals, says Minister of Social Affairs Annika Strandhäll.

The proposal means that advertising for alcoholic beverages and alcoholic preparations (e.g. alcoholic ice lolly) in social media would be prohibited. The White Paper's proposal is now sent to a referral to collect more views on how children and young people are best protected from alcohol advertising.

In the proposal, violations against the prohibition may be subject to sanctions through a market disruption fee. The market disruption fee is a penalty for gross violations of the regulations and is proposed to amount to a maximum of SEK 10 million, that is to say, the same sanctions already imposed on violations of the advertising ban on radio and television.

The legislative amendments are proposed to enter into force on September 1, 2019.

Background

Marketing of alcohol via the internet has increased sharply in recent years. On some social media platforms, children and young people appear to be overrepresented, which means that they are also highly affected by the marketing that exists.

Research shows that exposure to alcoholic advertising increases the consumption patterns of young people such as earlier alcohol debut and increased alcohol consumption.

There is an inconsistency in existing legislation. For example, a ban on alcohol advertising on radio and television applies, which means that the protection of children and young people is higher for these media than social media.

Source: IOGT-NTO