24 March 2024, Dutch Institute for Alcohol Policy STAP

From October 2024, Amsterdam will celebrate its 750th anniversary for a year with Heineken as its main sponsor. A year long, all Amsterdam residents and visitors, young and old, will be confronted with the promotion of the Heineken beer brand. The mayor of Amsterdam, Mrs. Halsema, does not believe this unprecedented form of promotion of the Heineken beer brand is in conflict with the national and Amsterdam alcohol prevention policy. According to Halsema, the aim is to reduce excessive alcohol use, not to discourage moderate alcohol use among adults. “The collaboration with Heineken and the prevention policy can coexist,” says Halsema.

Wim van Dalen, director of the Dutch Institute for Alcohol Policy STAP: The mayor of Amsterdam’s approval of this enormous marketing act by one of the largest beer producers in the world is partly a result of the National Prevention Agreement that the Dutch government drew up in 2018 in collaboration with the alcohol industry. This agreement emphasizes tackling what they called problematic alcohol use. In no way does the agreement refer to the proven harmful impact of alcohol advertising and alcohol sponsorship. 

Amsterdam’s action is all the more remarkable now that this year several other major cities in the Netherlands have decided to ban alcohol advertising on municipal properties.

Sources:  *https://amsterdam750.nl/en/article/heinken-becomes-main-sponsor-of-amsterdam-750/; *https://www.parool.nl/amsterdam/niet-iedereen-blij-met-hoofdsponsor-heineken-bij-750-jaar-amsterdam-beleid-is-juist-om-alcohol-te-denormaliseren~bd957d4b/?referrer=https://www.google.com/*

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