Alcohol marketing on television is banned in Sweden, but since 2003 a number of TV channels have circumvented the Swedish Alcohol Act by broadcasting from the UK. It has been possible, but whether it is legal or not is not yet clear.
That is why IOGT-NTO has sent a complaint on the fourth of March, concerning 32 companies who have broadcasted or produced alcohol advertisement targeting a Swedish audience, to the Swedish Consumer Agency and the Swedish Broadcasting Authority. The list includes among others Carlsberg Sweden, TV3 and Kanal 5.
‘It is obviously a problem that a number of companies can ignore the Swedish legislation’, says Sara Heine, handling the complaint from IOGT-NTO.
IOGT-NTO wants the Swedish Consumers Agency to hear whether the television companies, along with producers of alcohol advertisement, violate the Swedish Alcohol Act.
‘Alcohol marketing on television is illegal. It increases the consumption among youth and it has little or no support among the Swedish population. The only ones to benefit are the producers of alcohol and advertisement’, says Sara Heine.
Research shows that alcohol marketing increases the likelihood that children and adolescents will start to use alcohol, and drink more if they are already using alcohol.
The University of Gothenburg has recently participated in a survey including twelve countries, which showed how much alcohol marketing that was broadcast during the time of day when most children are watching TV. Sweden was, despite our ban, top one.