Belgium seeks to curb alcohol advertisng

13th May 2005, Comments 0 comments

13 May 2005 , BRUSSELS – Belgium will introduce new severe restrictions on advertisements of alcoholic beverages under a new convention signed by public health authorities as well as consumer and beverage industry representatives.

13 May 2005

BRUSSELS – Belgium will introduce new severe restrictions on advertisements of alcoholic beverages under a new convention signed by public health authorities as well as consumer and beverage industry representatives.

The provision, a response to the growing number of young drinkers, aims at shielding minors from all direct and indirect ads.

Specifically, it would prohibit all alcohol-related ads five minutes before or after or during children’s television programmes, as well as children’s films shown in cinemas and all publications targeting youngsters.

The restriction would apply to all beverages containing more than 1.2 percent of alcohol and prohibits any confusion of alcoholic beverages and those that aren’t and requires advertisers to communicate the alcohol content of their products.

It would also prohibit any association between alcoholic drinks and professional or sexual success, as well as any denigration of abstinence or moderate consumption.

Health Minister Rudy Demotte has signed the convention, along with federations representing the wine, beer and spirits sectors, Test-Achats and other  consumer groups and the hotel, restaurant and catering sectors.

Although the document is not legally binding, Demotte notes a jury of publicity ethics will be responsible for ensuring that all parties abide by their obligations and impose a EUR 1,000 daily fine on any offenders.

The reason for the move is stemmed by concern about growing alcohol consumption among young people. About one out of 10 youngsters aged 11 to 12 and seven out of 10 youths ages 17 to 18 admits to drinking alcohol.

Belgium appears to be catching up with many of its neighbours, who have had advertising restrictions for years.

In Italy for example, public television is not allowed to broadcast alcohol ads before 7 p.m., and in Sweden, only 'light' beers are allowed to advertise.

[Copyright Expatica 2005]

Subject: Belgian News

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