Alcohol marketing ranges from mass media advertising to sponsorship of events, product placement, internet, merchandise, usage of other products connected with alcohol brands, social networks etc. 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, which was adopted in 1989 and revised for the first time in 1997.
On 13 December 2005, the Commission proposed a new revision in order to take account of rapid technological changes and developments in the audiovisual services market such as video on demand, mobile television and audiovisual services via digital television.
On 24 May 2007, the European Parliament and the Council agreed on the proposal. The new Directive on Audiovisual Media Services entered into force on 19 December 2007. Member States have until 19 December 2009 to incorporate its provisions into national law.
Reference EU Documents
- The Audiovisual Media Service Directive - adopted in December 2007.
- Television Without Frontiers Directive - passed in 1989, updated in 1997 and became the Audivisual Media Service Directive in 2007
- Assessment of young people’s exposure to alcohol marketing in audiovisual and online media. RAND. September 2012
- Report on the Impact of marketing, price and availability of alcohol on young people’s consumption levels. Alcohol Policy Youth Network - APYN (2011)
- 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)
- Impact of Alcohol Advertising and Media Exposure on Adolescent Alcohol Use: A Systematic Review of Longitudinal Studies. Anderson P. de Bruijn A. Angus K. Gordon R. and Hastings G. Alcohol and Alcoholism, pp. 1- 15, 2009.
- Targeting/Not Targeting Youth: Mapping exercise report. Gordon, Wilks and MacAskill (2009) Report prepared for the European Commission, DG SANCO
- The effect of alcohol advertising and marketing on drinking behaviour in young people: A systematic review. Lesley A. Smith L. Foxcroft D. Alcohol Education and Research Council, November 2007
- Effects of Alcohol Advertising Exposure on Drinking Among Youth. Leslie B. Snyder et al (2006)
- Exposure to Televised Alcohol Ads and Subsequent Adolescent Alcohol Use. Alan W. Stacy et al (2004). Am J Health Behav. 2004;28(6):498-509.
- Does alcohol advertising promote adolescent drinking? Results from a longitudinal assessment. Phyllis L. Ellickson et al (2004). Addiction, 100, 235–246
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
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.
Under the Influence: Protecting teens from the impact of alcohol marketing, 21 June 2011, European Parliament (Brussels)
Hosted by MEPs: Anna Hedh (S&D) and Marian Harkin (ALDE)
Organisers: Eurocare and STAP (Dutch Institute for Alcohol Policy)
FIFA World Cup 2014 should not be sponsored by alcohol industry.
Sport is not an arena for alcohol promotion
It cannot be left to the producers of a harmful product to decide how, when and where it will be marketed. Policy makers must not rely on self-regulation, but rather follow up through more statutory measures to protect the consumers.