Eurocare (European Alcohol Policy Alliance) wrote an open letter to the CEO of Carlsburg and the CEO of Olvi plc: "Why threaten the Estonia Government when they are trying to ensure you have healthy consumers?": In this letter, Eurocare asks Carlsberg and Olvi to reconsider their policy and instead of withdrawing their companies from Estonia if that government continues with their alcohol policy plans, congratulate Estonia Government for prioritising the health of its citizens. In the meanwhile, Estonia has indicated that alcohol policies will be one of the priorities during the Estonian EU Presidency. Ossinovski said on social media that EU Health Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis acknowledged Estonia's plans to toughen alcohol policy domestically during a meeting in Brussels. "We agreed that within the framework of the presidency, Estonia will put the focus on several Europe-wide topics of alcohol policy from online marketing to labeling of alcohol," the Estonian minister stated. To download the letter from Eurocare, please click here.  For an overview of the current regulations on alcohol marketing in Estonia, please click here. Source:   
Research suggest that YouTube music videos promote positive associations with alcohol use. In the study “F*ck It! Let’s Get to Drinking—Poison our Livers!”: a Thematic Analysis of Alcohol Content in Contemporary YouTube Music Videos, researchers examine and describe the portrayal of alcohol content in popular YouTube music videos. This study shows that several alcohol companies adopt marketing strategies in the video medium that are entirely inconsistent with their own or other agreed advertising codes of practice.It is concluded that, as a harm reduction measure, policies should change to prevent adolescent exposure to the positive promotion of alcohol and alcohol branding in music videos. The analysis found that alcohol content was associated with sexualised imagery or lyrics and the objectification of women. Also, alcohol was associated with image, lifestyle and sociability. Finally, some videos showed alcohol overtly encouraging excessive drinking and drunkenness, including those containing branding, with no negative consequences to the drinker. The study builds upon previous research (see this and this link) that showed that popular YouTube music videos are watched by a large number of British adolescents, particularly girls, and include significant tobacco and alcohol content, including branding. This study has been included in the scientific publications database of EUCAM that can be accessed via this link.
This Conference will take place on 22 and 23 November 2016 in Ljubljana and is hosted by the Republic of Slovenia Ministry of Health, co-organised by Eurocare, and co-sponsored by the World Health Organization, Regional Office for Europe. Day one will focus on alcohol and inequalities, day two on innovative approaches to implement alcohol policy. Early-bird fees are only available until 14 October. Please check the website and download the Conference app for mobile devices.
  NGOs  issue complaint to French government: Carlsberg and UEFA are deliberately circumventing French law during EURO 2016 and in doing so they are exposing alcohol ads to millions of children. Aggressive alcohol marketing reaches 1.9 billion people Carlsberg is one of ten official sponsors of the month-long UEFA EURO 2016, the quadrennial men's football championship of Europe organized by The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA). EURO 2012 drew a cumulative audience of over 1.9 billion people[1] and is one of the world’s most popular sporting events. Civil society organizations have been tracking the alcohol marketing activities of Carlsberg over the course of the EUROs. “We are not surprised but extremely concerned. Carlsberg and UEFA have engaged in aggressive alcohol promotions throughout the whole tournament. Carlsberg is visible nearly every minute during broadcasts of the EURO 2016 games,” says Kristina Sperkova, President of IOGT International. French law bypassed "It is unacceptable to see that this is going on, when alcohol advertising in sports is actually banned by law in France,” says Wim van Dalen, President of the European Centre for Monitoring Alcohol Marketing (EUCAM). The ‘Loi Evin’, as the French alcohol marketing regulation is known, bans any link between alcohol marketing and sports as well as between alcohol marketing and youth[2]. Carlsberg and UEFA are apparently able to circumvent this by replacing the brand name on pitch-side adverts with one of their iconic slogans, written in the easily-recognizable Carlsberg font. Alcohol ads seen almost once per minute New research carried out by Alcohol Concern during the group stages of EURO 2016 has found that people watching England’s and Wales’ games saw alcohol marketing almost once a minute during play. It shows that during TV broadcasts of the two countries’ group games, pitch-side adverts for Carlsberg appeared 392 times – an average of 78.4 per game, or once every 72 seconds[3]. More than 50 unethical practices found Additionally, the campaign Big Alcohol Exposed has collected more than 50 case examples[4] of unethical practices by Carlsberg and UEFA. The cases include: -Pervasive in game, pitch-side ads
  • Pre- and after-game ads during interviews and press conferences
  • Merchandise for fans
  • Associations with special moments of each game like best goal and man of the match
  • The UEFA EURO 2016 smartphone app
  • Social media (Twitter) activities by Carlsberg and UEFA.
Brand-specific ads increase under-age alcohol use Research shows that exposure to brand-specific alcohol ads is a significant predictor of under-age alcohol use, with youth ages 13 to 20 being more than 5 times more likely to consume brands that advertise on national TV[5]. Particularly concerning is the fact that earlier this year a systematic literature study found a positive association between exposure to alcohol sports sponsorship and increased alcohol consumption amongst adult sportspeople and schoolchildren [6]. ”The volume of alcohol marketing in sport, especially in football, which is popular with children and youth, is enormous,” explained Tom Smith, Director of Campaigns at Alcohol Concern. ”We already know from our previous research that half of UK children associate leading beer brands with football. Sport should be something which inspires active participation and good health, not more and earlier alcohol use.” NGO’s call upon French government and European Commission "The EURO 2016 is another example for the need to hold Carlsberg and the alcohol industry accountable for circumventing French law,” urges Wim van Dalen. “That is why wewill this week file an official complaint to the French government and are calling on the European Commission to do more to protect children and youth from alcohol marketing.”  


  Notes for the editors: UEFA – Carslberg sponsorship deal For UEFA, the sponsorship deal with the world’s 4th largest beer producer [7] is highly lucrative. Carlsberg is said to have paid about €40 million to be exclusive beer sponsor of EURO 2016. But the Danish brewer is spending even more for promoting its brand during the tournament: Carlsberg is investing as much as €80 million on marketing for the championship [8]. The French alcohol marketing regulation The ‘Loi Evin’, as the French alcohol marketing regulation is known, bans any link between alcohol marketing and sports as well as between alcohol marketing and youth [9].
  • No advertising should be targeted at young people;
  • No advertising is allowed on television or in cinemas;
  • No sponsorship of cultural or sport events is permitted.
  • Advertising in the form of product information is allowed.
[1] Can EURO 2016 and Copa America Centenario capture an international audience? [2] Regaud, A., Craplet, M., in The Globe, 2004: The ’Loi Evin’: a French exemption [3] Alcohol Concern, 2016: Children see alcohol ads every 72 seconds during EURO 2016 [4] Big Alcohol Exposed, 2016: Unethical marketing practices during EURO 2016 [5] Siegel, M.,, in: American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, 2015: The relationship between exposure to brand-specific alcohol advertising and brand-specific consumption among underage drinkers – United States, 2011–2012 [6] Brown, K. (2016). Association between alcohol sports sponsorship and consumption: a systematic review. Alcohol and alcoholism, agw006. [7] Roach, D., in: Business Insider, 2014: 5 beer makers own more than half of global beer market [8] Panja, T.: in Bloomberg, 2016: Carlsberg’s Euro Soccer Campaign said to be worth $90 million [9] Regaud, A., Craplet, M., in The Globe, 2004: The ’Loi Evin’: a French exemption
estonia Last week EUCAM president Wim van Dalen, together with five eminent scholars on the subject of alcohol marketing and alcohol harms, sent the following letter to Estonian government leaders to show international scientific support for the planned amendments to their Alcohol Act and Advertising Act. The letter was sent to Taavi Rõivas, Prime Minister of Estonia, Jevgeni Ossinovski, Minister of Health and Labour, Margus Tsahkna, Minister of Social Protection and Kristen Michal, Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure.
Open Letter to the members of the Committee on Culture and Education of the Estonian Government concerning alcohol marketing Amsterdam, 5-01-2016 Dear members, I am writing this letter as president of EUCAM, the European Centre for Monitoring Alcohol Marketing. Through this letter, I would like to congratulate you all on the leadership your country is showing by proposing strong measures to address the marketing and availability of alcohol. I have also asked the world’s leading scientists in the field of alcohol marketing and drinking behaviour to voice their support for the proposed amendments to the Alcohol Act and Advertising Act. As you can see below six eminent scholars have undersigned this message. As you may well know, Estonia has a high per capita consumption levels (10.2 l) and one of the highest number of deaths attributable to alcohol consumption (1). While there have certainly been positive developments in Estonian public policy concerning alcohol consumption in recent years, the actual effects on drinking in your country have been relatively modest. The currently proposed plans are expected to have a bigger impact, because they form an integrated, multifaceted approach (restricting availability in stores and petrol stations as well as restricting marketing) rather than concentrating on one policy area. The proposed plan to legally formulate the rules that the content of alcohol advertising has to comply with, is as we signalized, directly inspired by the French regulation of alcohol advertising. This French ‘Law Evin’ is commonly referred to as one of the strongest forms of alcohol marketing restrictions in the world (3). If you succeed in approving and implementing the proposed amendments it’s expected that Estonia will henceforth be referred to as one of the countries with the strongest restrictions on alcohol advertisements in the world. While you will be able to pride yourself for implementing strong regulations where other countries are still hesitant, the true source of your pride should lie elsewhere. There is a large evidence base suggesting that exposure to alcohol marketing leads to drinking at an earlier age, as well as increasing the amount consumed (3, 4). Most of the studies that compile this evidence base have studied young people. Based on the large body of scientific work concerning alcohol marketing and drinking behaviour, the signatories of this letter expect a significant protective effect on the health of young people and future generations coming from the amendments to the Alcohol Act and Advertising Act as proposed by your Minister Jevgeni Ossinovski. Not only do the undersigned support the proposed plans, we hope to see them implemented in the near future. Sincerely yours, With kind regards, Ir. Wim van Dalen Msc. President of EUCAM (the European Centre for Monitoring Alcohol Marketing) Director Dutch Institute of Alcohol Policy STAP Co-signatories Thomas F. Babor Professor, UConn Health Health Net, Inc. Endowed Chair in Community Medicine and Public Health Gerard Hastings Emeritus Professor, University of Stirling Director, Institute for Social Marketing David Jernigan Associate Professor, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Director, Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth Isidore S. Obot Professor, University of Uyo Director, Centre for Research and Information on Substance Abuse (CRISA), Uyo, Nigeria Jurgen Rehm Associate Professor, University of Toronto Director, the Social and Epidemiological Research Department at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health Sources: 1. WHO, Status report on alcohol and health in 35 European countries 2013 (2013). 2. STAP, Effective alcohol marketing regulations. Policy report (2010). 3. Anderson, P., De Bruijn, A., Angus, K., Gordon, R., & Hastings, G. (2009). Impact of alcohol advertising and media exposure on adolescent alcohol use: a systematic review of longitudinal studies. Alcohol and alcoholism, 44(3), 229-243. 4. Smith, L. A., & Foxcroft, D. R. (2009). The effect of alcohol advertising, marketing and portrayal on drinking behaviour in young people: systematic review of prospective cohort studies. BMC public health, 9(1), 51.    
a-bottle-1063442-m Last week, the EU Health Council endorsed Council conclusions on "An EU strategy to reduce alcohol-related harm". The joint Health Ministers of the EU Member States in this document call on the European Commission to publish an alcohol strategy by the end of next year. During the Council meeting, which was also attended by Vytenis Andriukaitis, the Lithuanian EU Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, as many as 11 Health Ministers voiced their opinion that a special EU strategy should be reinforced. Their voting statement, as well as the Council conclusions show that the Ministers of Health are of the opinion that the alcohol problem in Europe is so serious that in addition to alcohol policies of the Member States, measures are also needed at EU level. It is particularly concerned with policy designed to reduce alcohol related problems with a cross-border dimension, such as labeling, e-commerce, audiovisual media services, excise duties and import quotas. The new strategy should - according to the EU Health Council - align with the activities already undertaken by the Committee on National Alcohol Policy and Action (CNAPA) and the World Health Organization. It is striking that no mention is made in the document about the European Alcohol and Health Forum. During the council meeting, this forum was not mentioned at all by any Minister. It seems that with the departure of the joint health organizations from the Forum, it apparently has no future in the eyes of the Member States. On April the 29th of this year the European Parliament adopted a resolution calling on the Commission to immediately begin preparing a new European Alcohol Strategy. Until now, the Commission has refused however. Andriukaitis shortly after adoption of the resolution by the European Parliament said in a speech that - in his opinion - the European alcohol policy does not need to be put separately in a special strategy, but that it can be incorporated into a broader policy paper on chronic lifestyle diseases. European health organizations felt that this statement from Andriukatis a curtsy to the alcohol industry. Therefore, last summer they collectively withdrew from the European Alcohol and Health Forum. The Luxembourg Commission President Claude Juncker and Dutch First Vice-President Frans Timmermans, have so far not spoke out in favour of an Alcohol Strategy. However, it looks as though they may have to review the current state of affairs. Now that both the European Parliament and the EU Health Council have so explicitly asked for a strategic paper on alcohol, the Commission can no longer refuse. Commenting on the adopted Council conclusions Andriukatis immediately stated that the Commission has not definitively decided whether or not a new strategy will be prepared.
responsability deal Reliance on voluntary action by alcohol firms to curb drink-related harm has been a failure, according to a hard-hitting report by the Institute of Alcohol Studies. The “public health responsibility deal” unveiled during the last UK government has resulted in broken promises and too little being done to reduce alcohol problems. In the report, the Institute of Alcohol Studies (IAS) states: “[The responsibility deal] appears to have been the main element of the UK’s alcohol strategy in recent years and has been used by the industry to resist more effective policies. If this is the case, the responsibility deal has worsened the health of the nation, and so must be considered a failure.” The IAS, a non-industry-funded thinktank, found that, under the deal, drinks producers have shunned policies that would work but would also hit their sales, promoted approaches that do not work, and exaggerated how much difference the policies they have adopted have actually made. “The RD has systematically focused on relatively ineffective interventions that are unlikely to reduce alcohol consumption. It has set up its pledges in ambiguous terms that resist assessment,” says the report. “The alcohol industry has obstructed rigorous evaluation of the RD, through the unreliability of its progress reports, and more damningly through its misconduct in the official evaluation process.” Katherine Brown, IAS director and one of the report’s authors, said that both hospital admissions and deaths due to alcohol had continued to rise, in spite of overall alcohol consumption falling slightly. “Perhaps most worryingly, the report indicates that the deal may have delayed evidence-based actions that would save lives and cut crime, such as minimum pricing. To call this a ‘public health responsibility deal’ for alcohol is laughable, as almost every independent public health body has boycotted it.” The RD’s failure meant it would be “absurd for this government to continue with such a farcical initiative. With alcohol costing our society £21bn each year, we can’t afford to keep prioritising the needs of big business over public health,” she added. The report isn’t exclusively negative however, it praises praise drinks firms for agreeing to stop advertising within 100 metres of schools. It also hails genuine “progress” on the number of alcohol products carrying warnings about drinking during pregnancy, safe drinking guidelines and the number of units contained. Source: The Guardian 11/07/15
scotland outdoor ad ban Scottish Ministers are under pressure to support a ban on alcohol advertising near schools after research carried out by Members of the Scottish Parliament suggested there was considerable public sympathy for the policy. The proposal was backed by 78 per cent of those who responded to a survey carried out by the Parliaments’ health committee. According to the National, the survey’s findings will inform the views of members of the cross-party body taking evidence on the Alcohol Bill, introduced into the Scottish Parliament by Labour Member of the Scottish Parliament Dr Richard Simpson. Simpson’s plan is to prohibit the advertising of alcohol within 200 metres of schools, nurseries and play parks, and to ban alcohol advertising at public events where most people taking part are children or where the event is aimed at children. The latter ban was supported by 83 per cent of the 543 people who took part in the survey last month. Under his plans, those breaching the advertising regulations would be fined. “The proposals with the strongest support were the ban on advertising near venues used by children and the ban on sponsorship of events targeted at children,” the survey report said. The introduction of drinking banning orders, which would prohibit someone convicted of an alcohol-related offence from going into a pub for up to two years, was also popular, with support from 75 per cent. Ministers are keen to combat problem drinking in Scotland. The country has one of the fastest growing rates of liver disease in the world, while in six out of 10 violent crimes the offender was under the influence of alcohol, according to last year’s Scottish Crime and Justice Survey. The Scottish Government has tried to bring in curbs on cheap alcohol, and in 2012 legislation to introduce a 50p per unit minimum price for alcohol was passed by the Scottish Parliament. However, this was challenged by the Scotch Whisky Association, which claims it breaches European law. The matter is currently before the European Court of Justice, which will issue a preliminary ruling later this year. Simpson last night welcomed the public backing for his proposals. “I believe that with the minimum unit pricing, and the legislation still being suspended in the European Court, this bill is even more important,” he said. Members of the health committee are due to continue taking evidence on the Bill, and the Parliament will vote on it in February. Source: The National 10/26/15
Ossinovski bans alcohol advertising in Estonia

Jevgeni Ossinovski Estonia's Minister of Health and Labor

In an ambitious and far reaching law proposal, Estonia’s Health Minister Jevgeni Ossinovski proposes to ban outdoor advertising for alcohol and severely restrict the content of alcohol ads on internet and TV. These advertising restrictions are part of a larger set of measures aiming to reduce alcohol consumption. “Previous measures have not been sufficient. Therefore we have decided to significantly step up restrictions on both alcohol advertising and accessibility of alcoholic drinks,” said Minister Ossinovski when he presented his plans. "We know from statistics and research that consumption of alcohol can be reduced by raising the price and restricting advertising and accessibility,” said Ossinovski. “Different measures including increasing the excise duty on alcohol have been used, but alcohol consumption in Estonia has practically not declined from 2009 to the present day.” If the bill is approved by Parliament, only black-and-white static images would be allowed in TV and internet commercials. Only product information and a health warning could be read out without any musical accompaniment. Outdoor advertising of alcohol would also be banned. The proposed plan also features a ban of “happy hours” in establishments where alcohol is served; as well as banning the sale of alcohol at gas stations from 2017. Furthermore, by 2018 alcohol sales alongside with other food goods will be banned. Consequently, supermarkets have to set up separate alcohol departments. The barrier between alcohol and non-alcoholic groceries must be non-transparent and smaller shops have to place alcohol on a separate counter behind the sales person. The amendment would also introduce the possibility of mystery shopping for the purpose of monitoring compliance with the ban on selling alcohol to underage individuals and for identifying the sale of illegal alcohol.
Comments by EUCAM: Interestingly enough this plan shows many resemblances with the French Evin law. Only in France, it’s the TV ads that are banned and the outdoor ads that are allowed when complying with strict content regulations. The French restrictions are widely considered some of the most effective alcohol advertising regulations in Europe. EUCAM congratulates Minister Ossinovski on his dedication to tackling alcohol harms in his country and showing leadership in his approach. We will be keeping a close eye on the further developments in Estonia pertaining to this bill.
Source: Baltic Times 10/19/15 The Baltic Course 10/19/15 Picture source: NordAN