Today alcohol advertising is broadcasted on several Swedish TV channels even though there is a clear prohibition against alcohol advertising on radio and TV. By broadcasting from the UK, TV channels, so far, have managed to circumvent Swedish legislation. In 2011, IOGT-NTO filed a complaint against these broadcasts to the Swedish Broadcasting Authority (SBA), which now, by referring to the EU’s Audiovisual Media Services Directive, requires that the UK stops alcohol advertising in broadcasts to Sweden. The letter was sent this week from the SBA to its British counterpart, Ofcom.
“We have a prohibition against alcohol advertising on TV, there is a political consensus and strong public support for this law. That Sweden, through the SBA, requires that the UK stops alcohol advertising on Swedish TV channels is a great step forward”, says Sara Heine, Head of Unit at IOGT-NTO.
The option for Sweden to cooperate with the United Kingdom in this matter was made possible when the EU adopted the new Audiovisual Media Services Directive where the so-called principle of the country of reception was introduced. That means in this case that Swedish law applies even when an advert is broadcasted from another country but entirely or mainly targets Sweden and a Swedish audience.
“Now we are in an exciting position where the UK either can choose the line of the Swedish Broadcasting Authority and stop alcohol advertising on Swedish TV or the case will continue to the EU level”, says Sara Heine.