Helsinkin Sanomat (Finland) – Prime Minister supports curbs on alcohol advertising

  • Post category:World News

Prime Minister Mari Kiviniemi is calling for restrictions on the advertising of alcoholic beverages.

Kiviniemi has come out in favour of an initiative signed by more than half of Finland’s 200 Members of Parliament calling for legislation that would limit alcohol advertising to the dissemination of product information; appeals to the emotions would be banned.  

Such a move would restrict advertisers to showing a picture of the beverage container and listing information of the product. Pictures of people drinking and having a good time would not be allowed.
Promoting the change in Parliament is Inkeri Kerola (Centre), the chairwoman of the Committee on Social Affairs and Health.

“This is a good initiative that needs to be advanced. It won’t bring alcohol consumption under control, but we must not present the wrong mental images to children”, Kiviniemi says. She notes that legislation in Sweden and France is more restrictive than in Finland.
A working group of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, which recently considered new guidelines on alcohol advertising, voted in the summer against any new restrictions.  

New restrictions were supported by all health officials and organisations represented on the committee. Opposing them were the numerous representatives of the beverage industry in the working group.

The same pattern was seen in statements solicited from various interested parties on the work of the working group. Health officials support restrictions, while industry and commerce oppose them.
Members of Parliament took the initiative when the negative view of the working group came out.

Minister of Social Services Paula Risikko(Nat. Coalition Party) could advance a proposal for advertising restrictions as a government initiative, which would have a chance of moving forward more quickly than an initiative put forward by individual parliamentarians.

Risikko’s staff indicated on Monday that the minister will not take a stand on the matter yet.
Kiviniemi feels that initiatives that have the support of more than 100 MPs should be pushed forward.


Source: Helsinkin Sanomat (Finland), 28/09/10