European Alcoho... / Media Centre / Eurocare Newsle... / 2011 / Summer 2011 / News From Euroc... / Total Blocker- Against Alcohol Marketing  

02/09/2011

Total Blocker- Against Alcohol Marketing

The Association for Health Lifestyles in Finland has launched an original campaign to protect minors from “lifestyle” advertising of alcohol products.

Finnish law does not allow for alcohol advertising that targets minors, however alcohol advertising is very ubiquitous, it's everywhere, and it reaches minors regardless of whether it is directly targeted at them. Every day, in many ways and in many different media, children and young people are exposed to positive, risk-free imaged of alcohol and its use.

Luckily the Association for Health Lifestyles in Finland has found a revolutionary solution to reduce exposure of youth to alcohol marketing practices: The total Blocker, a very stylish yellow bucket that you can place over the head of your child.

The main advantages of this innovative product is that it allows parents to protect their children from being bombarded continually with marketing messages about alcohol without having to rely on the political will or the alcohol industry, it comes in one size that fits all and it is very cheap!

CHECK OUT THE ”TOTAL BLOCKER” VIDEO!

For more information about the Total Blocker campaign visit http://www.viinamainos.info/28 (is in English). The website has the latest news on the Finnish debate on alcohol marketing, and it offers visitors the opportunity to submit photographs of alcohol advertisements they have come across.

For more information you can contact Project Manager Kiti Poikonen, kiti.poikonen (at) elamantapaliitto.fi, p. +358404514199

CAMPAIGN GOALS

The aim of the Total Blocker campaign is to get legislation on alcohol advertising that protects minors and allows only for alcohol advertising that refers to the qualities of the product such as degree, origin, composition and means of production (i.e. product advertising), instead of suggesting that successful lifestyles can be attained by the use of the product, (i.e. lifestyle advertising).

SITUATION IN FINLAND

According to a survey carried out by this organisation in May 2011, 120 out of 200 Members of the new Finnish Parliament are against lifestyle marketing of alcohol.

Although advertising strong liquors (over 22 % alc.vol) is illegal in Finland, it is still allowed to promote milder alcohol products (beer, wine etc.) within certain restrictions that leave room for interpretation.

The previous government signed a bill that dried up

In 2010, 106 out of the 200 members of the previous Finnish Parliament (2007 – 2011) signed a bill for banning lifestyle advertising of alcohol (comprehensive content restrictions). Numerous Finnish NGOs also backed it up. However, the bill dried up in the hands of the Minister of Health and Social Services just before the parliamentary elections in April 2011. Unfortunately the alcohol industry has a strong role in the shaping of alcohol related legislation.

Newly formed government and its interpretive agenda

The new government (formed in June 2011) had in its party’s election platform: “restricting alcohol marketing by banning the common ways of marketing to children and teenagers, and banning advertising that portrays alcohol as a means to social and sexual success”. The banning of lifestyle advertising of alcohol is not directly mentioned.