Panimoliitto

Preliminary inspection of alcohol advertising works well – no need for legislative changes

Lehdistötiedote   •   Huhti 02, 2013 09:07 EEST

During 2012, the Federation of the Brewing and Soft Drinks Industry’s preliminary inspection committee inspected 92 scripts or completed advertisements for alcoholic beverages. The committee inspected 67 television commercials or break bumpers, 13 outdoor advertisements, and 12 scripts. Five commercials and four scripts were rejected. Outdoor advertisements became subject to inspection in October 2012.

The Federation of the Brewing and Soft Drinks Industry’s preliminary inspection committee started up a year and a half ago. Preliminary inspection forms part of the Federation’s guidelines on responsible marketing communications for alcoholic beverages. Last year, not a single advertisement from Federation members (Hartwall, Olvi, Sinebrychoff and Nokian Panimo) was banned by Valvira, the National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health, which supervises alcohol advertising.

“Preliminary inspection seeks to prevent advertisements for alcoholic beverages from overstepping the mark, and in that we have succeeded. Preliminary inspection has now become a permanent aspect of the industry’s self-regulation,” says Elina Ussa, Managing Director of the Federation of the Brewing and Soft Drinks Industry.

Meetings with experts have been arranged to support the preliminary inspection committee’s work. The Federation of the Brewing and Soft Drinks Industry has provided breweries’ marketing personnel and advertising agencies with training in responsible marketing communications, both alone and in cooperation with other organisations.

The preliminary inspection committee is an independent group whose members have expertise in a range of fields, such as marketing, advertising and law. None of its members may have connections to the Federation of the Brewing and Soft Drinks Industry or its member companies. The committee’s working methods are based on comparable self-regulatory bodies in the pharmaceutical industry, where such systems have already been in place for decades.

Alcohol advertising is strictly controlled in Finland

Compared to many other EU countries, legislation governing alcohol advertising in Finland is very strict. The authorities check the legality of advertisements and the Council of Ethics in Advertising (MEN) issues a statement on whether an advertisement complies with good practice. The Federation of the Brewing and Soft Drinks Industry also has its own self-regulatory guidelines that member companies must comply with.

“Breweries are shouldering their social responsibility and are committed to the responsible advertising of alcoholic beverages. We hope that Finnish brands will still have room to advertise, so that they have a chance to fight off competition from foreign brands. Marketing bans would hinder domestic operations, while foreign brands would continue to be advertised on cable channels and the Internet,” says Ussa.

The Federation of the Brewing and Soft Drinks Industry’s preliminary inspection committee

Chair Marja-Leena Mansala, Master of Laws trained on the bench, IPR University Center (formerly the intellectual property institute)
Taina Pihlajarinne, LL.D., Master of Laws trained on the bench, Docent in Commercial Law, University of Helsinki (on parental leave)
Jussi Karttunen, Market Court Judge, Senior Specialist, Legislative Affairs, Finnish Ministry of Justice (Pihlajarinne’s substitute)
Partner Mika Raulas, ICMI – Intelligent Customer Management International Oy
Tuula Sario
, LL.M, Lawyer-in-Chief, The Consumers’ Association of Finland
Lauri Sipilä, M.Sc. (Econ.), CEO, The Finnish Marketing Association (MARK)

Additional information:
The Federation of the Brewing and Soft Drinks Industry
Managing Director Elina Ussa, tel. +358 (0)9 148 871 (ETL exchange), GSM +358 (0)45 269 7711
Communications Manager Outi Heikkinen, tel. +358 (0)9 148 871 (ETL exchange), GSM +358 (0)50 370 8677

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The Federation of the Brewing and Soft Drinks Industry promotes the interests of producers of beer, cider, long drinks, soft drinks and mineral waters in Finland. Its members are Oy Hartwall Ab, Nokian Panimo Oy, Olvi Oyj and Oy Sinebrychoff Ab. The Federation of the Brewing and Soft Drinks Industry operates in connection with the Finnish Food and Drink Industries Federation and represents Finland’s fourth largest industry in the food and drink branch in terms of the value of production.