In contrast to tobacco, there is no existing specific state legislation in Spain regarding alcoholic beverages except for the so-called "Wine Law" (Ley 24/2003, de 10 de julio, de la Viña y el Vino), aimed to protect the industry (wine origin denominations and others). In the case of alcohol, those regulations relating to alimentary products, and those which govern their advertising, also apply. In Spain, a large part of the regulation of the advertising of alcoholic beverages in the various media (press, radio, cinema, outdoor and even television) is established by regulations at the regional level which add a catalogue of prohibitions to those established by state legislation:
- In television, the most common practice is the prohibition of advertising of alcoholic drinks of any strength when associated with programmes aimed at minors as an exclusive or preferred target audience. There are cases in which the prohibition refers to particular periods in the schedule (between 8.00 and 22.00) or to specific contents (educational or public interest). In general, the ban includes both direct advertising and indirect or hidden advertising.
- The most common practice in radio is the prohibition of advertising of alcoholic drinks of any strength when associated with programmes aimed at minors as an exclusive or preferred target audience.
- In the press, the most common practice is to prohibit the advertising of alcoholic drinks in children's or youth publications or in those sections of the printed media aimed at minors as an exclusive or preferred target readership. In some cases the ban is extended to include the first page, sections on hobbies, and sports sections.
- With regard to advertising in those media, in some cases the prohibition is limited to media which influence extends to the majority of the public.
- With regard to exterior media, the advertising of alcoholic drinks is generally prohibited as a consequence of the prohibition of consumption of alcohol in public thoroughfares. In some Autonomous Communities it is not even contemplated; in others, exterior advertising is extensively prohibited or is focused solely on higher proof alcoholic beverages.
- Generally the restrictions are established especially for people under 18 years of age, and in some cases for under 16 years.
- The restrictions for alcoholic strength are set, according to the regulation, at 18, 20 or even 23 degrees proof.
- In a large part of this regulation the sale and consumption, and therefore the advertising, is prohibited in a wide range of places and establishments which include public thoroughfares.
In this chapter only the state legislation related to alcoholic beverages is included.
The following document contains an in depth overview of alcohol marketing regulations in Spain: alcohol-marketing-regulations-Spain.pdf
For even more (but older) information on alcohol marketing regulations in Spain, please take a look at Spain's appendix to the 2007 ELSA (Enforcement of national Laws and Self-regulation on advertising and marketing of Alcohol) report.