The Finnish Parliament has agreed on amendments to the Finnish Alcohol Act (1143/1994), which will lead to restrictions on the advertising of mild alcoholic beverages.
Advertising of mild alcoholic beverages in public will become prohibited. However, advertising will still be permitted in public gatherings and events, as well as in venues permanently used for these purposes, such as indoor ice rinks, hockey matches and music concerts. Advertising will also remain permitted in international traffic between Finland and foreign countries, and in premises for which a license to serve alcohol or a license to alcohol retail trade has been granted. The prohibition on advertising alcohol on television and radio will be extended from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (previously the prohibition ended 9 p.m.). Advertising done by lotteries or contests as well as advertising that is based on information that consumers produce or share in social media will be prohibited.
The purpose of these restrictions is to avoid the exposure of children and young people to alcohol advertising. The new restrictions may call for reassessment of arrangements and agreements which concern alcohol advertising. The Finnish amendments will enter into force later in 2014 after a transition period for actors in alcohol advertising.
In Sweden an Official Report (SOU 2013:50) presented in July 2013 proposes to adopt new measures for effective enforcement of the rules on marketing of alcohol. The Official Report proposes, inter alia, (i) that the Swedish Consumer Ombudsman be entitled to independently prohibit trade of alcohol under a penalty of a fine, (ii) that marketing activities specifically directed at minors be sanctioned by a market disruption fee, (iii) that home delivery of alcohol be subject to a notification requirement, and (v) that supervising authorities be entitled to conduct control purchases to monitor home delivery of alcohol and that persons under prescribed age are not delivered to.
The Swedish Report is still to lead to any law amendments and it has also raised some criticism.