Alcohol advertisements and the laws and regulations

Because alcohol advertisements have been proven to have a major effect on young people, policies need to be created around them. You can read here what the laws and regulations regarding alcohol in the Netherlands look like.

Laws and regulations

In the Netherlands, alcohol advertising is largely regulated through self-regulation by the alcohol industry. STIVA, a partnership of beverage producers and importers, manages the Advertising Code for Alcoholic Beverages. This code contains the European guidelines for alcohol. Most European countries have laid down more far-reaching measures regarding alcohol advertising. The Netherlands is the only country that has determined the content of advertising solely through self-regulation.

Now it seems as if the Netherlands is completely loosening the reins. What we do have is legislation around exposure to alcohol advertising on television and radio. This is laid down in the so-called Media Act and associated provisions with regard to sponsoring.

Media Act

Since 2009 it has been included in the Media Act that it is prohibited for Dutch broadcasters to broadcast alcohol advertising on television and radio between 06:00 and 21:00. Also, 'product placement', also known as surreptitious advertising, is prohibited for alcoholic beverages during this time slot. The purpose of this provision is to protect young people from the negative influence of alcohol advertising.

The Media Act also includes a number of provisions regarding (alcohol) sponsorship. This includes, among other things, that it must be stated if there is sponsorship, that the mention of the alcohol sponsor must be neutral and may take a maximum of five seconds. The Media Authority monitors compliance with this law. Source: expertise

Young people see a lot of alcohol advertising

Despite the laws and regulations surrounding the display of alcohol advertisements, young people still see a lot of alcohol advertising and even more than adults (30+), as shown by a study among Dutch young people. 29% – 34% of the young people indicated that they had seen a lot to very much alcohol advertising at festivals, events and music venues. In addition, young people also indicated that they had seen (very) many advertisements in brochures (28%) and premiums in catering establishments (26%). They also come into contact with all kinds of other forms of alcohol advertising more often than adults.






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