Lithuania bans alcohol advertising in media

By Rachel Arthur contact

- Last updated on GMT

Pic:istock/monticello
Pic:istock/monticello

Related tags: Alcoholic drinks, Alcoholic beverage, Alcohol

Lithuania has banned alcohol advertising from TV, radio, newspapers and magazines, as part of efforts to reduce alcohol abuse.

The legal drinking age has also been increased from 18 to 20 years old, and the hours at which alcohol can be sold in shops has been reduced.

Legislation was passed in June last year with the advertising ban coming into effect this month.

Efforts to reduce harmful drinking

A 2017 report from the WHO put Lithuanians as the heaviest drinkers in the world, drinking the equivalent of 18.2 liters of pure alcohol per person (the global average is 6.4 liters). Beer is the most popular alcoholic beverage, followed by spirits then wine.

Stricter regulations – such as a ban on selling alcoholic drinks through forecourt retailers, increased excise taxes and a ban on displaying discounts – have already been previously introduced in Lithuania.  

As a result of the introduction of the new alcohol advertising ban this month, publishers of foreign magazines such as Vogue and National Geographic are having to tear out or black out pages which contain alcohol advertising, reports Reuters.

The government has identified reducing alcohol consumption as one of its key priorities.

Market analysts Euromonitor observe that the introduction of new legislation, along with changing demographics, will negatively affect the performance of all alcoholic drinks categories.

“In light of decreasing sales of alcoholic drinks, other business divisions, such as soft drinks, have become an increasingly important source of revenue for companies operating within alcoholic drinks in Lithuania,” ​it observes in a 2017 report. 

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