Marketing alcoholic beverages on social media
Marketing strong alcoholic beverages on social media is prohibited. Mild alcoholic beverages may be marketed on social media in accordance with the restrictions set in the Alcohol Act.
However, advertising mild alcoholic beverages on social media is prohibited if their commercial operator uses written or image content produced by consumers in its information network service. Advertising is also prohibited if the commercial operator provides written or image content produced by it or consumers through a service for sharing by consumers. This means that advertising comments on and images of alcoholic beverages added by consumers must be removed from social media accounts. Consumers’ comments or images cannot be shown in advertising, and consumers cannot be requested to share posts added to social media accounts.
Several social media services also include the like option. As the like option is not regarded as content produced by consumers, the advertiser does not need to remove or prevent likes. The permissibility of the use of hashtags must be assessed considering the overall image formed of the activities. What is particularly essential for this consideration is whether a commercial operator can be considered to have sought to advertise and promote an alcoholic beverage by leveraging the active participation of consumers or content produced by them.
As a rule, sponsored advertisements of mild alcoholic beverages targeted at consumers on social media are permitted, while such advertisements cannot be targeted at minors.