The Alcohol Act is the statutory regulation. There are also two non-statutory codes adopted by the alcohol industry: self-regulations (see below). The Alcohol Act states that all marketing to consumers must be distinct moderate and is not allowed to be intrusive or seeking. Alcoholic beverages as gifts are not allowed. Advertisement in periodical publications is allowed for alcoholic beverages that are not stronger than 15 % VOL. The advertisement must be moderate and can only express the product or its content of raw products. An advertisement must hold a text of information about the risks that are connected with alcohol consumption (for example: "alcohol can damage your health"). There are 11 different possible texts to choose between in a statutory ordinance. Outdoor advertisement is not considered distinctly moderate and therefore not allowed in Sweden. The same goes for advertisement for example in cinemas, sports centres, hospitals and buses.The search for violations is done by The Swedish Consumer Agency, the Government authority responsible for national supervision in the alcohol marketing area. Complaints can be made to this authority. If a company violates the rules in the Act it can be forbidden to repeat the marketing practice. The decision normally includes a fine - which will be fixed by a court decision. The Swedish Consumer Agency does not give pre launch advice regarding marketing or advertisement. On the local level the municipalities are responsible for controlling the marketing inside premises. If a restaurant owner violates the Act, he could lose his license to serve alcoholic beverages. As guidance concerning marketing and advertisement of alcoholic beverages and also to help determining which advertisement is moderate and which are not, The Swedish Consumer Agency published General Recommendations for marketing of alcohol to consumers. These recommendations have been in existence since 1979, and have been changed from time to time based on for example new case law. There are two self-regulatory codes adopted by the alcohol industry: 1. Swedish Spirits & Wine Suppliers Code - adopted in 2004. All sorts of marketing, information and promotion of all alcoholic beverages and soft drinks are under control in this regulation. The member companies can get advice on a principle basis from a special person called 'AGM'. This person checks that member companies do not offend the rules in the Alcohol Act and the rules adopted by the member companies. The AGM-person can stop a marketing practice for the time being until a complaint has been judged by him. He also decides whether there shall be a fine (maximum €100.000). 2. In February 2006, the Association of Swedish Advertisers, The Swedish Brewer´s Association and Swedish Spirits & Wine Suppliers have adopted "Recommendations concerning advertisement of alcoholic beverages and alcoholic light drinks that contains alcohol". The Recommendation contains interpretations of the rules in The Alcohol Act. The purpose of the Recommendation is said to be a guidance regarding the rule mentioned above (marketing to consumers must be distinct moderate), for the benefit of a uniform practice of the rules and also to give guidance when it comes to marketing of soft drinks that contain a small amount of alcohol (less than 2.25 % alcohol by volume) so that it will not be mistaken for marketing of stronger alcoholic beverages.
|Table 1||Statutory Alcohol marketing regulations in Sweden||Coverage|
|Alkohollagen (The Alcohol Act)||Rules in the Alcohol Act apply to all sorts of marketing (including alcoholic beverages as gifts in connection with marketing). It applies also to alcoholic beverages > 2,25% VOL. (The ban for alcoholic drinks > 15% VOL only applies to commercial advertisements in periodical publications or other publications on which the press law is applicable, and which, with respect to the order of release, are comparable to periodicals.)|
|Radio-och TV-lag (Radio and Television Act 17 June 2010)||TV, radio|
|Table 4 Self-regulations on Alcohol marketing in Sweden||Coverage|
|Rekommendation avseende reklam för alkoholhaltiga|
drycker och alkoholhaltiga lättdrycker (Recommendation regarding advertising for alcoholic
beverages and alcoholic light drinks, by the Association of Swedish Advertisers, The Swedish Brewer´s Association and Swedish Spirits & Wine Suppliers).
|The Recommendation covers manufacturers’ marketing of alcoholic drinks to consumers,
with the exception of marketing that is directed directly to consumers outside Sweden or
marketing that falls outside Swedish jurisdiction. The Recommendation contains interpretations of the rules in The Alcohol Act.
For more (but older) information on alcohol marketing regulations in Sweden, please take a look at Sweden's appendix to the 2007 ELSA (Enforcement of national Laws and Self-regulation on advertising and marketing of Alcohol) report.