In Lithuania there are two statutory regulations concerning alcohol advertising: One is the Law on Alcohol Control, statutory regulation which specifically refers to alcohol marketing and advertising. The other specific document - the Law on Advertising does not cover specific regulations concerning advertising and marketing of alcoholic beverage. At present there is no overall self-regulatory system for advertising in Lithuania but the Advertising Law establishes the right to voluntarily control advertising. Additionally, The Lithuanian Brewers Association signed its Brewers self-regulation code in December 2004.
So the Law on Alcohol Control is in practice the only one and main regulation of alcohol marketing and advertising document in Lithuania. The Law on Alcohol Control was adopted by the Parliament on the 18th of April 1995. The last new version on the Law on Alcohol Control came in to force on the 1 March 2004. Till 2006 this Law was elaborated and changed more than 20 times. The complaint and sanctioning system connected to marketing and advertising on alcoholic beverages is fully reflected in that legal act. These are the main principles of the Alcohol Control Policy set down in the Law on Alcohol Control:
- to reduce availability of alcoholic beverages through taxation;
- to ensure through State regulation measures the State's control of alcohol, protection and strengthening of the health of the population and funding of the programmes of education for minors;
- to extend priority to production of alcoholic beverages by natural fermentation and import and sale thereof;
- to limit promotion of sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages;
- to prohibit the means of promotion of buying and consumption of alcoholic beverages by youth;
- to encourage legal persons who are engaged in the alcohol business to join in implementing the state alcohol control policy;
- to increase public information regarding the issues of the social and economic harm inflicted on health and economy through the consumption of alcohol;
- to sponsor action programmes of health and temperance societies and thus augment the number of people who don't consume alcoholic beverages;
- to promote the production and sale of non-alcoholic beverages;
- to support planning of an alcohol-free living environment. It shall
be permitted to engage in retail trade in alcoholic beverages in retail
establishments and catering established in multi-family dwellings;
- to promote scientific research and dissemination of information concerning the harm caused to health by consumption of alcohol;
- to strengthen the cooperation with other Member states of the European Union and international organizations regarding the issues of the reduction of the consumption of alcohol. (Article 3, Law on Alcohol Control).
To increase the proportion of people not using strong alcoholic beverages the outdoor alcohol advertising (on billboards), except for beer and naturally fermented wine and cider is prohibited. On October 13th, 1997 the Decree of the Minister of Health "Concerning warnings about health damage of alcohol on the exterior advertising means" came into force.
Advertisement of all forms of alcohol is banned if it is directed at children and adolescents up to 18 years of age, features persons under 18 years of age in promotion campaigns, uses sportsmen, physicians, celebrities in art and science or other prominent public authorities, or their names, images, links consumption of alcohol with improvement of the physical condition, links consumption of alcohol with driving, links consumption of alcohol with physical activity improvement, personal problem resolution, social success, higher sexual activity, is related with stimulating, soothing and curing properties, or presents false and (or) deceptive information. It is forbidden to advertise alcohol on the first and last pages (covers) of newspapers, magazines and books, in programs of radio and television stations, cable radio and cable television stations registered in the Republic of Lithuania, being broadcast and rebroadcast from 15:00 to 22:30 hours, and Saturdays, Sundays and school holidays from 8:00 to 22:30 hours, but only of alcoholic beverages which volume exceed 22 percent. Enterprises certified to sell alcoholic beverages are prohibited from giving alcoholic beverages as a premium, an addition to other goods or as a present, to apply fixed discounts to those possessing coupons printed in mass media offerings, to organise retail sale entity competitions in order to promote alcoholic beverage sales, to sell specialized advertising publications, published in the Republic of Lithuania or abroad, and brought into the Republic of Lithuania, with the intention of promoting the sale of alcoholic beverages.