Review of the Alcoholic Beverage Advertising Code (COA)

Ecorys and PROOF consultants were commissioned by ZonMw to evaluate the Advertising Code for Alcoholic Beverages (RvA). The RvA sets out agreements for responsible alcohol marketing. The COA should contribute to the objective from the National Prevention Agreement to combat problematic alcohol use.

Enforceability of the COE
The advertisers interviewed indicated that they understand the COA and know how to apply the rules in their work. However, some advertisers did indicate that some sections in the COA are not entirely clear. Based on these outcomes, it is desirable to regularly bring the COA to the attention of (new) advertisers and explain it better.

Compliance and enforcement of the COA
Figures show that 92 complaints were filed during 2014-2020, of which about half (43) were rejected. Of all complaints granted, 97% were complied with. It may be desirable to complement this form of reactive monitoring with a more proactive form of monitoring to rule out the possibility that potential violations of the COA are missed in the current form of enforcement.

COE in relation to reach and influence of minors
Young people associate advertising images and videos for alcoholic beverages that feature several people with conviviality, friendship and/or a party. The COA includes provisions limiting the exposure of minors, including that a maximum of 25% of the audience exposed to alcohol may be minors. However, in practice, these can be large absolute numbers of minors. Given the effect of alcohol advertisements on young people, it may therefore be desirable to adjust this limit downwards.

Want to know more? Read the research report (in Dutch) for more information.

3 May 2021

1 minute read

Key Experts

Daniek Korver