The European Commission is currently evaluating the European Alcohol Strategy to support Member States in reducing alcohol-related harm. Eurocare, The European Alcohol Policy Alliance, has published its recommendations on a future EU Alcohol Strategy, covering the period 2013-2020.
One of the main points of the recommendations is that European alcohol consumption by 2020 should be reduced from an average of 12.5 litres to 9 litres per adult per year.
Strengthening the regulations on alcohol marketing throughout Europe is another important recommendation: “A level playing field for commercial communications should be implemented across Europe, building on existing regulations in Member States, with an incremental long-term development.”
Furthermore, Eurocare points to the existing French ‘Loi Evin’ as a framework for the regulation of alcohol marketing which could be accepted as the minimum standard across the EU.
A summary of the recommendations on alcohol marketing reads as follows:
Alcohol advertising should only be permitted under precise conditions defined by statutory regulation. When alcohol advertising is permitted, its content should be controlled:
• Messages and images should refer only to information of the products such as volume, origin, composition and means of production
• A health message must be included on each advertisement
• Messages should not mention or link to sexual, social and sports related images
Therefore, Eurocare recommends:
• No alcohol advertising on television or in cinemas
• No alcohol advertising on internet except at points of sale
• No alcohol sponsorship of cultural or sport events
• No alcohol advertising should be targeted at young people
* Regulations on product placement of alcohol products i.e. films and programs portraying drinking classified as for 18 certificate
* A complete removal of intrusive and interstitial marketing tools such as: social media, apps on mobile phones
* A complete removal of alcohol advertising outdoors and in public premises (i.e. athletes’ shirts, bus stops, lorries etc.)
* A complete removal of sales promotions such as Happy Hours and Open Bars/Girls Night etc.[/i]
Recommendations are also given on pricing. Since pricing is a crucial part of the marketing mix, here’s a short list of Eurocare’s recommendations on pricing and taxation:
* Minimum alcohol tax rates should be at least proportional to the content alcohol for all alcoholic beverages
* Tax on wine should rise in line with alcoholic strength
* Minimum tax rates should be increased in line with inflation
* Member States should have the flexibility to limit individual cross-border purchases so as not to diminish the impact of their current tax policies
* Member States should retain the flexibility to use taxes to deal with specific problems[/i]
Other subjects that Eurocare gives recommendations for are: Smarter regulation of availability of alcohol; Provision of information to consumers- labelling; Reduction of drink driving; Creation of safer drinking environments; Raised awareness of dangers from drinking during pregnancy; Protection of family and children; Prevention with special focus on prevention in the workplace; Treatment and early interventions; Better monitoring of data, development and maintenance of common evidence base.