Complaints procedure Drank- en Horecawet (Alcohol Licensing and Catering Act), statutory: Monitoring the provision on the separation of alcoholic beverages from non-alcoholic beverages on store shelves, is the responsibility of mayors in the Netherlands. Any person who notes an infringement of this rule, can file an enforcement request in relation to this breach (Article 18 (3) Alcohol Licensing and Catering Act). This can result in a administrative fine of €1020 for a small business and €2040 for a larger business. In case of recidivism, higher fines apply. Media wet 2008 (Media Act 2008), statutory: The Dutch Media Authority, called Commissariaat voor de Media (CvdM), upholds the rules which are formulated in the Dutch Media Act as well as in the regulations based on this act, for example the Media Decree. See http://www.cvdm.nl/english/ for more information. Reclamecode voor Alcoholhoudende dranken (RvA) (Advertising code for alcoholic beverages), non-statutory: Advertisments in the Netherlands have to comply with the Dutch Commercial Code and the Advertising Code for Alcoholic Beverages. Complaints can be made to the Advertising Code Committee of The Dutch Advertising Code Foundation: www.reclamecode.nl. During an ongoing procedure a marketing practice can still be used. The possibility of complaining is made known to the public on the website www.reclamecode.nl and http://stiva.nl/regelgeving/nederlandse-reclamecode/. The website www.reclamecode.nl explains the procedures of the Advertising Committee and shows the established codes online. Sanctions, where appropriate, are imposed by The Advertising Code Committee and the Board of Appeal of The Dutch Advertising Code Foundation. Sanctions could be a fine of maximum €50.000 or other sanctions, namely: a ´private' or ´public´ recommendation for discontinuing the advertisement. The most common sanction is a private recommendation for discontinuing the advertisement. Sometimes public recommendations are published, but a fine has never been imposed in the history of the code. Only public recommendations are publicly announced, usually by a press release by the Dutch Advertising Foundation. In other cases a membership to the Foundation has to be paid to get online access to full descriptions of the results of procedures. Online recommendations on a certain subject can be found, but only on the basics of such cases such as the name of the advertiser. The full description of the complaint and recommendation are not visible. The minimum amount of time the procedure officially takes is when a complaint is decided (by the chair of the Committee). It should be handled within 14 days. After the decision there is a 14 day period (7 days in urgent cases) to put in an appeal. Thus, the minimum procedure takes up to 3 weeks. The maximum time is not stated, because a date has to be set for handling the complaint. In general the procedure takes about 2 months. Especially the time between handling a complaint and the decision can take a long time (up to 8 weeks). Richtlijn voor Horeca Promoties (Guidelines for promotions by the catering industry), non-statutory: These guidelines do not contain information on a complaints procedure. However, it is mentioned that since 1 May 2005 a penalty system has been introduced for promotions by the catering industry. After a violation of the guidelines, a producer or importer will receive a warning. If another violation is found, a €1500 fine will be imposed. If the violation will be repeated, a €5000 fine will be imposed.
In the Netherlands three different regulations exist that specifically refer to alcohol marketing and advertising. 1. Drank- en Horecawet (The Alcohol Licensing and Catering Act), a statutory law to regulate the selling of alcoholic beverages 2. The non-statutory 'Advertising Code for Alcoholic Beverages' and the Guideline for Promotions by the Catering Industry (Richtlijn voor Horeca promoties). The latter contains additional guidelines to the 'Advertising code' 3. The Media Act 2008, statutory. 1. The statutory 'Drank- en Horecawet' contains one article that makes it possible for the government to establish regulation for alcohol advertising and marketing without having to make a whole new law. But currently there is no such governmental regulation for alcohol advertising and marketing (except for one article that refers to separating alcoholic beverages from non-alcoholic beverages on the shelves of stores). 2. In practice, the 'Advertising Code for Alcoholic Beverages' contains the main regulation of alcohol marketing and advertising in the Netherlands. This self-regulation code is the way in which the rules of the Audiovisual Media Service Directive are incorporated in Dutch regulation. The text of it is designed by a CSR-organization funded by the alcohol industry. The complaint and sanctioning system connected to it is organized by a self-regulatory organization of the advertising industry. The 'Richtlijn voor Horeca promoties' contains additional guidelines that have no public system of control. 3. Since 2009, the new Media Act 2008 is in place, which has been partially adapted in line with the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD). Several provisions of the AVMSD have been included in the non-statutory Reclamecode voor Alcoholhoudende dranken (Advertising Code for Alcoholic Beverages). The statutory Media Act 2008 has introduced a time ban on alcohol marketing on Dutch television and radio between 06:00 am and 21:00 pm. While traditional marketing is prohibited in this time slot, sponsorship messages of alcohol producers and retailers are allowed in a neutral way that only depicts the brand name/logo. The time ban was intended to limit the volume of advertising that young people are exposed to. However, research by STAP, the Dutch Institute of Alcohol Policy, has revealed that young people actually see more alcohol advertisements because since the time ban, the alcohol industry has tripled the number of alcohol advertisements that are aired after 21:00 pm. The Media Act and corresponding policy rules, contain some provisions on (alcohol) sponsoring and product placement. The most important rules on (alcohol) sponsoring are:
- If there is sponsoring, this has to be mentioned.
- At the Dutch Public Broadcast Corporation, the indication of the alcohol sponsor has to be neutral: only the name or the logo of the sponsor may be shown in a non-moving image. The indication may not be full-screen.
- At commercial broadcasting, the indication of alcohol sponsoring has to be neutral between 6 am and 21:00 pm. After 21:00 pm it does not have to be neutral, but may not be a promotion.
- A sponsor may be indicated at a maximum of 5 seconds.
- The sponsor may be indicating before and after the programme, as well as at the beginning and end of commercial breaks during the programme.
- In order to inform the public, for programmes that include product placement, it has to be clearly mentioned that these programmes contain product placement.
- Product placement is only allowed on commercial broadcasters at certain categories of programmes: light amusement, movies, tv-series and sports. Media aimed at children below the age of 12 may never contain product placement, even if it concerns movies or tv-series.
- Product placement for alcoholic beverages is not allowed between 06:00 am and 21:00 pm.
|Table 1||Statutory Alcohol marketing regulations in the Netherlands||Coverage|
Horecawet (Alcohol Licensing and Catering Act)
|Only store shelves. (It dictates that alcoholic beverages must be seperated from non-alcoholic beverages on the shelves of stores). Article 2 of the Alcohol Licensing and Catering Act gives the minister of Health, Welfare and Sport the competence to regulate alcohol advertising in an order in council. But until now there is no such regulation in force. This Act will be evaluated in 2016.|
|Media wet 2008 (Media Act 2008)||TV, radio. RTL Nederland - which is focused at the Netherlands but established in Luxembourg, has voluntarily agreed to adhere to the rules relating to the time-ban (note: RTL Nederland has not agreed to adhere to the rules on product placement and sponsoring).|
|Table 4 Self-regulations on Alcohol marketing in the Netherlands||Coverage|
dranken (RVA) STIVA (Advertising Code for
|TV, radio, cinema, sponsoring, internet/digital media (since 1 January 2012 restrictions on alcoholmarketing via social media), outdoor, print, promotional items|
Horecapromoties STIVA (Guidelines Catering
price, number of
The following document contains an in depth overview of alcohol marketing regulations in the Netherlands: alcohol-marketing-regulations-Netherlands.pdf For more (but older) information on alcohol marketing regulations in the Netherlands, please take a look at Netherlands's appendix to the 2007 ELSA (Enforcement of national Laws and Self-regulation on advertising and marketing of Alcohol) report.