Finland takes important steps to restrict alcohol marketing
“Finland stands out as an important example for the other EU Member States” says Mariann Skar, Secretary General in European Alcohol Policy Alliance (Eurocare)
Maria Guzenina Richardson, Finnish Minister of Health and Public Services, has presented a draft bill to limit alcohol advertising. The draft specifies that advertising of spirits would continue to be prohibited. The proposed legislation would prohibit advertising of mild alcoholic beverages outdoors and in public premises, but would continue to allow advertising at outside points of sale and in restaurants. This would mean that alcohol ads would disappear from bus stops, sports venues and athletes' shirts. Alcohol advertising would also be prohibited on TV and radio before 23.00. The bill should be submitted to the Parliament during the 2012 spring session.
“More restrictions on alcohol marketing are needed in most of the EU Member States, and Finland’s draft bill is a move in the right direction. When one looks at legislation of other harmful products like tobacco, ban on alcohol marketing in the EU is long overdue “argues Mariann Skar.
Recent findings show how the approach of self-regulation in alcohol marketing is not effective in protecting young people from alcohol marketing (AMMIE report). Not only is content a major issue when it comes to restrict alcohol marketing, but also volume is of great concern. NGOs from various sectors have been persistently calling for more regulation on alcohol marketing over the years, most recently at last week’s EU Alcohol and Health Forum.