Brewers launch Advertising Code for Alcohol Free and Low Alcohol Beer

16 October 2020

Yesterday the Advertising Code for Alcohol Free and Low Alcohol Beer came into effect. The code stipulates, among other things, that advertising for alcohol-free and low-alcohol beer may not be aimed at young people under the age of 18 and that advertising for low-alcohol beer may not be aimed at pregnant women and active traffic participation.

The code applies to Dutch advertising for all beers with an alcohol content up to 0.5% ABV and applies to all organizations that advertise, such as brewers, supermarkets and the hospitality sector. Examples include commercials on radio and TV, but also social media posts, beer labels and supermarket flyers.

The code has been ratified by the Stichting Reclame Code. Dutch Brewers and STIVA (Foundation for Responsible Alcohol Consumption) point out that drawing up the new advertising code is one of the agreements they made in the context of the National Prevention Agreement.

Wim van Dalen, director of the Dutch Institute for Alcohol Policy STAP, is very critical about the new advertising code. "My problem is that promoting alcohol-free beer is seen as a positive thing by many people, but in the meantime the brand name - which is used for both no-low beers and alcoholic beer - is getting in everyone’s head." Van Dalen also believes that the brewers and STIVA should have waited for the results of studies into the question of alcohol-free beer lowers the threshold for drinking alcoholic beer in young people. Van Dalen: "The Trimbos Institute advised to wait for previous research to see whether alcohol-free beer does indeed lower the threshold. The Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport did not accept that advice, which is why the Dutch Brewers in my opinion incorrectly suggest that the new advertising code is part of the National Prevention Agreement."

All in all, Van Dalen is not so confident in the effect of this new advertising code. "Self-regulation is a proven ineffective tool to protect young people."

Source first 3 paragraphs:


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