From Iceland — Alcohol Ad Laws Tightened

Alcohol Ad Laws Tightened

Published September 1, 2010

A bill submitted to parliament may close loopholes that alcohol importers and manufacturers have used in the current Icelandic law banning the advertising of alcoholic beverages.
The proposal, already approved by the Icelandic government, was submitted jointly by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Justice, Vísir reports. While Article 20 of the current alcohol law bans the advertisement of alcoholic beverages, loopholes have been found – for example, by advertising the low alcohol content versions of the same beers.
The change to Article 20 would ban such advertisements outright. Furthermore, penalties for those violating this law will be increased monetarily.
The Ministry of Justice is currently polishing up the proposal, which will be submitted when parliament reconvenes in October.
Iceland’s alcohol laws have had an interesting history. Beer was illegal in the country until 1989, although hard alcohol was legal. Low alcohol content beer, known as “pilsner” and usually with an alcohol percentage of around 2%, was still legal, though. When the ban was lifted, pilsner’s protected status as a non-beer allowed for a loophole in the alcohol advertising laws so that pilsner could be advertised.
If you ever get a chance, ask an Icelander over the age of 35 about “bjórlíki”.

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