last updated: October 19, 2017

Advertising and Marketing and Labelling

The monitoring of Alcohol advertising is addressed in a number of ways, particularly in relation to the protection of children and minors. There are voluntary codes developed by advertising self-regulatory organisations, social aspect organisations and individual company codes.

Many codes, such as the Portman Group code, The Beer Institute and DISCUS Code are reinforced with independent complaints panels, whereby the public can submit complaints concerning inappopriate advertising or marketing.

Watchdogs and regulatory frameworks, such as the EU 'Audio visual directive' largely lie above the self-regulatory codes. In some countries, such as Finland the regulations are so strict that self-regulation is not necessary.

Article 15 of the EU Audio visual directive states:

  • The advertising for alcoholic beverages shall comply with the following criteria:
  • it may not be aimed specifically at minors or, in particular, depict minors consuming these beverages;
  • it shall not link the consumption of alcohol to enhanced physical performance or to driving;
  • it shall not create the impression that the consumption of alcohol contributes towards social or sexual success;
  • it shall not claim that alcohol has therapeutic qualities or that it is a stimulant, a sedative or a means of resolving personal conflicts; it shall not encourage immoderate consumption of alcohol or present abstinence or moderation in a negative light;
  • it shall not place emphasis on high alcoholic content as being a positive quality of the beverages.

Most codes and guidelines from around the world embrace these criteria. You will find in this section a range of codes, guidelines and links regarding alcohol advertising from all over the world. If you would like to submit suitable research or material for this section, please email

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