Alcohol marketing ranges from mass media advertising to sponsorship of events, product placement, online advetisement, merchandise, usage of other products connected with alcohol brands, social networks etc.
There is strong and consistent evidence to show a link between exposure to alcohol marketing and increased alcohol consumption amongst young people: a number of systematic reviews have concluded exposure to alcohol advertising increases the likelihood that young people start drinking at an earlier age, and to drink more if they already use alcohol.
In 2009, the Science Group of the European Alcohol and Health Forum produced a report on marketing which reviewed a number of studies regarding impact of marketing on the volume and patterns of drinking alcohol. It concluded that alcohol marketing increases the likelihood that young people will start to drink alcohol, and that among those who have started to drink, marketing increases the their drinking levels in terms of both amount and frequency.
Alcohol advertising was first regulated at EU level by the EU's "Television without Frontiers" Directive (adopted in 1989, revised in 1997). This was later replaces by the Directive on Audiovisual Media Services (AVMSD), which entered into force on 19 December 2007. The AVMSD was revised in 2010 (Directive 2010/13) and is the current legal framework for alcohol advertisement in EU.
- Assessment of young people’s exposure to alcohol marketing in audiovisual and online media. RAND. September 2012
- Does marketing communication impact on the volume and patterns of consumption of alcoholic beverages, especially by young people?. Scientific Opinion of the Science Group of the European Alcohol and Health Forum (2009)
- Targeting/Not Targeting Youth: Mapping exercise report. Gordon, Wilks and MacAskill (2009) Report prepared for the European Commission, DG SANCO
Seen by public health experts as an example to follow, the Loi Evin, was passed in France in 1991 in order to control the advertising of alcohol and tobacco. The Law puts an end to lifestyle advertising of alcohol.
According to the Loi Evin messages and images in alcohol ads should refer only to the qualities of the product such as degree, origin, composition and means of production.
The Globe: The 'Loi Evin': a French exception
May 2015 - written by the European Alcohol Policy Alliance (Eurocare), Institute of Alcohol Studies (UK) and Monash University (Australia)
Published in 2012. Eurocare did a mapping exercise on alcohol marketing and asked people to report on the exposure one specific day.
The AMMIE project (Alcohol Marketing Monitoring in Europe) consists of NGOs from five EU countries (Bulgaria, Denmark, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands) that monitored alcohol advertising practices and marketing activities in 2010. The project started in 2009 and is partly funded by the European Commission.
FASE project aims to collect best practices in work-place strategies to reduce the impact of harmful and hazardous alcohol consumption on the economy as well as best practices on well-resourced community mobilisation and intervention projects to create safer drinking environments, and to develop best practice in advertising, self regulation and monitoring.
ELSA (Enforcement of national Laws and Self-regulation on advertising and marketing of Alcohol) was a two year project that assessed the enforcement of national laws and self-regulation on the advertising and marketing of alcoholic beverages in all 25 Member States and applicant countries and Norway.