EE Estland
Alcoholic beverages, the advertising and sales promotion of alcoholic beverages

Draft Act amending the Alcohol Act and the Advertising Act

The draft act amends the provisions of the Alcohol Act regulating the sale of alcohol, the presentation of alcoholic products and the verification of the buyer’s age upon selling alcohol. The Alcohol Act shall be amended by adding provisions to enhance state supervision and verify compliance with the legal requirements by means of a test transaction. This should ensure better compliance with the ban on selling alcohol to minors and reinforce the fight against illegal alcohol sales. The draft act amends the provisions of the Advertising Act limiting the content of alcohol advertising, supplements the list of places where alcohol advertising is prohibited, specifies and modifies the provisions limiting the sales promotion of alcoholic beverages by means of favourable pricing, lays down health warning requirements, and limits alcohol advertising on social media.

Furthermore, the draft act provides an exhaustive list of elements permitted in alcohol advertising, and specifies that the information in alcohol advertising must not contain any descriptions of a positive atmosphere. It also includes a list of elements that alcohol advertising should not contain. Unlike the existing Advertising Act, the requirements regarding the health warning shall be specified.

The draft act establishes a list of places where it is prohibited to advertise alcohol. In addition to the existing restrictions, the current version shall be amended as follows: advertising alcohol in recreational areas mainly for children and young people shall be prohibited; the time restriction for broadcasting alcohol advertising on TV and radio shall be increased; advertising alcohol on the front and back pages of newspapers and magazines and supplements thereof shall be prohibited; advertising alcohol outdoors shall be fully prohibited, and advertising alcohol on social media networks and online communities shall be prohibited, except on the websites of distilleries.

The Advertising Act also bans the option to obtain alcohol for free or at a discounted price during a sales promotion. This includes a ban on offering the same alcoholic beverage for sale and selling it at a different unit price at the same point of sale where the product is available both as a single unit and as part of a multipack packaged by the producer.

According to the draft act, prohibited advertising includes any consumer game, lottery or competition which – in its guidelines, descriptions or advertisements – is connected to, or associated in any other way with an alcoholic beverage brand.

Similarly, it is prohibited for commercial companies to share such information, in text or visual form, on social media networks or online communities, if this has been created by consumers or is intended to be shared by consumers.