Utrecht, 15 April 2024; Dutch Institute for Alcohol Policy STAP

The 2023 Annual Alcohol Advertising Report shows that many minors in the Netherlands are confronted with alcohol advertising. Despite the fact that the alcohol industry largely adheres to its own agreement that alcohol advertising may not be specifically aimed at minors, they are still reached on a large scale. Not only representatives of Parliament but also the State Secretary of the Ministry of Health want measures to be taken.

In the Netherlands, the alcohol advertising rules of the industry (self-regulation) apply in particular, which stipulate that no more than 25% of the target groups reached by alcohol advertising may consist of young people under the age of 18. The researchers indicate that this percentage does not prevent many minors from being reached in absolute terms. The researchers also indicate that much alcohol advertising is currently not monitored. This applies, for example, to out-of-home advertising, advertising through sponsorship of sporting events and cinema advertising.

Dutch media law prohibits alcohol advertising on television and radio between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m. However, there are plenty of alcohol advertisements broadcast online during the day. Young influencers and vloggers also appear not to adhere to the existing rules. The report shows a number of situations where excessive drinking is promoted and where minors give free alcohol to an influencer.

This Heineken advertisement was removed after public comment because the models are clearly younger than 25 years old, which is contrary to the alcohol industry’s own rules.
Examples of posts on Instagram with brands clearly visible, but the name of the brands are not included in the description, which is prescribed.

Ban on local alcohol advertising

Recently several large municipalities in the Netherlands have decided to ban alcohol advertising on their properties. One of them is the city of Utrecht, where alcohol advertising will soon no longer be possible on 10 billboards, 300 light poles, 230 advertising showcases and on almost 500 bus shelters (2).

A recent study research Institute Bureau Objectief and STAP shows that young people are confronted with a lot of alcohol advertising on the street.


  1. Monitor Alcohol Advertising; Edition 2023; Panteia.; link: file:///C:/Users/Wim/Downloads/monitor-alcoholmarketing-2023-3.pdf  link
  2. Advertising for alcoholic beverages in public spaces: what do young people see? Publisher: Dutch Institute for Alcohol Policy STAP and research Institute Bureau Objectief; April 2024; link 

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