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How to sidestep the law on moderation in alcohol advertising

Advertisment for Untouched by Girasol advertisment

Advertisment for Untouched by Girasol advertisment

In Sweden advertising for wine must be very restrained, as in many other countries (France for instance). In principle, you are only allowed to show the product in the ad i.e. the packaging.

In recent years it seems that the rule may have been slightly relaxed so that you are allowed to show a glass. There have been instances of wine importers have been fined, or threatened with a fine, for ads showing e.g. a chequered table cloth and a cork screw or an oak barrel.

One of the first to have figured out a clever way to make these rules meaningless is the wine importer Primewine, thanks to the success of bag-in-box (cask) wines, which represent more than 50% of sales in Sweden.

There is a big flat surface on the BiB box, almost like a magazine page. And the box is undeniably the wine packaging. Print a pretty picture on the box et voilà you have the possibility to put almost anything in a magazine ad (for example, young and beautiful people alluding to sex, happiness and success). The advert will show only the packaging so there should be no problem. Here is one example.

Imagine the alternative situation: an ad with a traditional bottle with a label and next to the bottle a photo of a romantic couple on a picnic.

Any doubt that such an advertisement would fall foul of the rules?

This post is also available in: Swedish

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