|On 26 May, EASA and The Brewers of Europe, published a report on the progress of self-regulation in alcohol advertising. Compiled by the EASA secretariat, independently reviewed by KPMG Sustainability and published by The Brewers of Europe, the report “Responsible beer advertising through self-regulation” reflects the progress made in the implementation of the commitment to the European Alcohol and Health forum in relation to the advertising self-regulation.
Backing The Brewers of Europe’s work, Robert Madelin, Director General, European Commission stated in the report’s foreword, “The Brewers have worked consistently and in consultation with the European Advertising Standards Alliance to deliver effective and credible self-regulation with progressively broader European coverage.”
Europe’s brewers already had advertising self-regulation codes in place, but wished to ensure all these were operating within credible and effective advertising self-regulation systems. The setup and the scale of the advertising self-regulation initiative were unprecedented: The Brewers took the European Commission’s comprehensive best practice model and developed 7 Operational Standards, for the enhancement of advertising self-regulation systems and responsible beer communications in all the European countries. The report demonstrates substantial progress made, with Self-regulation systems were set up in countries where they did not exist before; 10 countries improved their complaints handling systems through further incorporation of independent elements; Consumer awareness of advertising self-regulation systems was increased in 24 out of 27 countries; and 26 countries have a complaints handling system in place with effective sanctions.
EASA was asked to write the report in its capacity as the independent expert in advertising self-regulation in Europe. The Brewers of Europe have partnered with EASA with the common goal to ensure effective advertising self-regulation across the EU 27, helping to set up SROs where these do not exist yet, reinforcing existing self-regulatory systems, and helping to ensure responsible commercial communication for beer advertising. This corresponds to the commitments made in the EASA’s Charter which among others include to strengthen self-regulation in all forms of advertising. This report is one example of the cooperation at the European level, initiated several years ago through monitoring and training events with advertising professionals and representatives of the beer industry.