Dutch TV commercial for alcohol free beer legally classified as alcohol commercial

17 December 2015

The Dutch Media Commissariat has ruled that some radio and TV commercials for Amstel alcohol free beer 0.0 should be seen as alcohol advertising and as such should not have been allowed to be broadcast before 9PM according to the Media Act 2008.

The complaint to the Media Commissariat was filed in May 2014 by EUCAM, the European Centre for Monitoring Alcohol Marketing, which operates out of the Netherlands. In the complaint EUCAM argued that the commercials for the alcohol free beer Amstel 0.0, was in fact also advertising the brand name ‘Amstel’ which predominantly produces alcoholic beverages. Secondly, EUCAM argued that the content of the advertisement actually refers to alcoholic beverages of the same brand. Near the end of the commercial the voice over says that the “natural mix of Amstel beer and lemon juice is now ALSO available alcohol free”.

The Media Commissariat in its verdict explained that the Media Act 2008 prohibits alcohol advertising on TV and radio between 6AM and 9PM, in order to protect children from alcohol marketing exposure. Because of a direct reference to an alcoholic beverage of the same brand, the commercial works to appeal to alcoholic beverages and should - according to the verdict - not have been broadcasted during the watershed timeslot.



Dutch Institute for Alcohol Policy STAP
P.O. Box 9769
3506 GT Utrecht
The Netherlands
T: +31 (0)30-6565041
F: +31 (0)30-6565043