Resolution October 2009
Network Assembly of representatives in Helsinki 24th of October 2009
Alcohol advertising must be regulated!
More than 60 000 young persons die every year in Europe from alcohol. Even more thousands are victims of alcohol related harm, such as illness, accidents and violence. Alcohol advertising contributes to increased drinking and alcohol problems. This has been established by the scientific committee of the Alcohol and Health Forum of the European Commission.
The exploitation of the vulnerability of young people and harm to their future by commercial alcohol producers must be stopped. There is no evidence that self regulation by the commercial interests works. Every day, we can see in Europe how the most sophisticated methods are used to stimulate young people to start drinking earlier and to drink more.
There has to be legislation against both the contents of the advertisements and the volume. Especially, there should be no advertising of alcoholic beverages on television or on internet sites that are attractive to young people.
The assembly of NordAN, representing some 90 voluntary organisations in the alcohol and drug field in the Baltic and Nordic countries, urges our national governments to work in favour of action by the European Union against cross border alcohol advertising both on television and on the internet. There should also be national regulations, which we know can be compatible with European law.
Commercial freedom to promote alcoholic beverages can never be more important than the health and security of young persons. The global strategy against alcohol related harm, which now is under preparation by the World Health Organisation (WHO), should also include strong language against the cynical and irresponsible marketing of alcohol, which is often to be seen in the developing world. The alcohol producers should be made to follow the same rules in the poor countries as they ought to follow in the industrial world.