It’s an end of an era. From the beginning of year 2015 you shouldn’t be seeing alcohol advertisements anywhere outdoors in Finland. Since 1995 it has been legal to advertise mild alcohol drinks. The law forbidding any alcohol advertising came through recently and the main reason for this, they say, is to protect the adolescents.
Advertising is supposed to create a positive image of a product. The health authorities are saying that alcohol advertising is giving a false image to adolescents and giving them the idea to start consuming alcohol at a younger age. They are also saying that it increases alcohol consumption.
What the authorities still can’t do is to remove alcohol from the foreign TV programs and movies. This is a problem because it gives the foreign alcohol brands the possibility to be seen better than the Finnish brands. In my opinion this is also a more efficient way to promote alcohol drinks for young people.
The entrepreneurs and people working in the restaurant industry are getting furious because of the government’s restrictions. They see the authorities becoming the nannies of this society. It seems that nothing will be tolerated when it comes to alcohol.
The regulations will have a negative effect on the industry. Restaurants and alcohol brands have to find new ways to promote their products. Also it is going to be costly and a lot of work for the authorities to keep on track what is legal and what is not. Will they even be able to monitor that the law will be obeyed?
The better way to protect the adolescents would be enlightenment and teaching awareness. I’ve been exposed to alcohol advertisements throughout my whole life so for me it’s hard to understand why alcohol regulations are getting so tight.
Of course social media is buzzing about the alcohol regulations. The latest conflict between the authorities and a restaurant entrepreneur was about the Beer and Whiskey Exhibition and especially about the word “whiskey”. Advertising strong alcohol drinks has always been forbidden and in this case the authorities saw the word “whiskey” in the exhibition’s name as a form of advertising that should be forbidden. Now people are making jokes about this situation. Yet we don’t know who is going to be the last to laugh about this whole scene.