Alcohol marketing refers to direct and indirect advertising and other promotional activities.
How do I advertise alcoholic beverages?
The aim of the restrictions on alcohol is to reduce the harm caused by alcohol.
The marketing regulations apply to alcoholic beverages that contain more than 1.2% of ethanol.
Alcohol marketing refers to direct and indirect advertising and other promotional activities. Indirect advertising refers to using the name or established mark of an alcoholic beverage in the advertising of another product or service.
The marketing regulations apply to commercial activities with the aim of promoting the sale of alcoholic beverages. A commercial operator is an entity with a direct financial interest in the advertising of alcoholic beverages, such as a seller, importer or a manufacturer.
The marketing regulations do not apply to private individuals or editorial content in mass media.
In principle, the advertising and other activities promoting the sale of strong alcoholic beverages (containing more than 22% per volume of ethanol) is prohibited.
Marketing is only permitted in the following exceptional cases:
- the beverages are advertised at a point of retail sale, serving and manufacture of strong alcoholic beverages
- the seller of alcoholic beverages publishes a printed or online product catalogue or price list, in which all alcoholic beverages are presented in an equal manner
- the marketing is targeted at those who participate in the sales of alcoholic beverages (however, not in an information network open to consumers)
- the advertisement is published in a foreign publication.
The advertising regulations are not limited only to the marketing of a certain brand; marketing using a generic name can also be prohibited.
The marketing of mild alcoholic beverages (containing a maximum of 22% per volume of ethanol) is permitted with certain limitations. The restrictions also apply to beverages containing 1.2–2.8% per volume of alcohol.
The following restrictions apply to the marketing of mild alcoholic beverages:
- The marketing must not depict minors, people who behave in a disorderly manner or people who are clearly intoxicated. Marketing may not be targeted at such persons, either.
- The use of alcohol must not be associated with operating a vehicle.
- The alcohol content of the alcoholic beverage may not be emphasised.
- Abundant use of alcohol may not be depicted in a positive light. Correspondingly, sobriety or moderate use of alcohol may not be depicted in a negative light.
- An impression that alcohol use would enhance performance or improve social or sexual success must not be given.
- Medical or therapeutical properties may not be associated with alcohol. The impression that alcohol would be a stimulant, a tranquilliser or a means for resolving conflicts must not be given, either.
- Alcohol advertising may not be contrary to accepted principles of morality, inappropriate for consumers or otherwise untrue or misleading.
- Alcohol may not be advertised on TV or radio from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. or in a cinema where a film with an age limit under 18 years is being screened.
- As a rule, marketing in public places is prohibited with the exception of public events as well as stating the availability and price outside premises licensed for the serving or retail sale of alcoholic beverages.
- Games, raffles and competitions may not be associated with alcoholic beverages. They may not be used as prizes, either.
- Content produced by consumers may not be used in advertising in information network services (such as Facebook), and content including alcohol advertising may not be made available for consumers to share.
Selling alcoholic beverages at a joint discount price is prohibited. Offering two or more alcohol beverage packages or servings at a joint discount price is prohibited. Buying a single alcohol beverage may not be more expensive than the price of an item of the same size in a multi-package.
In retail sales, you may only advertise a discounted price valid for a period of less than two months for a package of alcoholic beverages inside a retail outlet. Short-term discount prices may not be advertised in magazines or online publications, either.
In serving alcohol, short-term discount offers for mild alcoholic beverages (such as the so-called happy hour prices) may be advertised outside the premises licensed for the serving of alcohol, such as in an advertisement on the door, window or in the immediate vicinity of the premises. Premises licensed for the serving of alcohol may also advertise their offers mentioned above on their website or in newspapers.
Receiving rebates on the price of alcoholic beverages, calculated on the basis of purchases of alcoholic beverages, other consumer goods or services, is prohibited. Benefits accrued from the use of credit cards are possible, provided that the credit card in question is issued by a financial institution. The prohibition of rebates does not prevent the sale of an alcoholic beverage at a discounted price as a loyal customer benefit, for instance.
At the Regional State Administrative Agencies, we enforce the rules on marketing alcoholic beverages when it is carried out in the area of a single Regional State Administrative Agency.
The National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health monitors the marketing carried out on a national level and in the areas of more than one Regional State Administrative Agency.
If alcohol is marketed against the regulations, the National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health or a Regional State Administrative Agency will first give instructions to correct the marketing. If giving instructions is not enough, the National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health or a Regional State Administrative Agency can prohibit the continuation of activities that do not comply with the regulations. The National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health and the Regional State Administrative Agencies can also issue a notice of a conditional fine in order to increase the effectiveness of a prohibition or correction issued based on the regulations of the Alcohol Act.