Library of Congress

Law Library of Congress

The Library of Congress > Law Library > News & Events > Global Legal Monitor

Finland: Proposal to Restrict Alcoholic Beverage Image Advertising Fails Again to Materialize

(Mar. 4, 2011) It was reported on March 2, 2011, that the Finnish government failed to produce a legislative proposal on restricting image advertising of alcoholic beverages. The development took place in a meeting between negotiators for the Parliamentary Committee on Social Affairs and Health and government parties on March 1. Minister of Social Services Paula Risikko (National Coalition Party) and Minister of Social Affairs and Health Juha Rehula (Centre Party) stated that, while there was consensus on the amendment's objectives – primarily to limit the effects of alcohol image advertising on children and young adults – unanimity could not be reached on the bill's content and on how to reach those objectives. (Political Gulf Kills Off Legislative Initiative on Restrictions on Alcohol Advertising, HELSINGIN SANOMAT (Mar. 2, 2011).) Image advertising refers to the attempt by advertisers to create a favorable image of a product or firm in the minds of consumers, especially associating the given product/firm with a certain lifestyle or values. (Image Advertising, BUSINESSDICTIONARY.COM (last visited Mar. 3, 2011).)

The National Coalition Party has wanted a list of banned advertising messages to be compiled; the Centre Party sought the specific listing of permissible information that the advertisements might contain. The impetus for the proposal was a 2010 initiative that called for the prohibition of all image advertising of alcoholic beverages, which was signed by 106 of the Finnish Parliament's 200 members. MP Inkeri Kerola (Centre), the initiative's author, who is now Chairwoman of the legislature's Social Affairs and Health Committee, expressed her disappointment at the government's continued failure to put forward a draft bill, noting that it “had promised a proposal on five separate occasions.” (HELSINGIN SANOMAT, supra.)