Advertising Code for Alcohol-free and Low-Alcohol Beer (RvAAB)
The Advertising Code for Alcohol-free and Low-Alcohol Beer (RvAAB) applies to advertising for alcohol-free beer and advertising for low-alcohol beer. This code applies to all advertising intended specifically for the Netherlands, regardless of the country of origin of the alcohol-free and low-alcohol beer. If an advertisement includes both alcohol-free or low-alcohol beer and an alcoholic beverage, the Advertising Code for Alcoholic Beverages will apply to the entire advertisement.
In this Code, the following definitions apply:
Active internet marketing: advertising that is actively distributed or enabled on and / or via the internet by the advertiser or wholly or partially on his behalf. Active internet marketing includes:
· advertising actively sent by the advertiser to selected recipients
· advertising on or via an internet platform, including a social media platform, by the advertiser, as well as advertising by a third party wholly or partially on behalf of the advertiser, insofar as this involves an internet platform over which the advertiser has some degree of control of or influence on the display or the content of the communication.
Alcohol-free beer: the drink obtained after fermentation of wort, prepared from starch and sugar-containing raw materials, hops and brewing water, insofar as this contains not more than one tenth percent (0.1%) alcohol by volume. Alcohol-free beer is also understood to mean a mix of non-alcoholic beer with other drinks, insofar as this contains no more than one-tenth percent (0.1%) alcohol by volume at a temperature of twenty degrees Celsius;
Low-alcohol beer: the drink obtained after fermentation of wort, prepared from starch and sugar-containing raw materials, hops and brewing water that at a temperature of twenty degrees Celsius for more than a tenth percent (0.1%) alcohol by volume up to and including a half percent (0. 5%) of alcohol by volume. Low-alcohol beer is also understood to mean a mix of beer with other drinks, insofar as this consists of more than one-tenth percent (0.1%) by volume to half a percent (0.5%) of alcohol by volume at a temperature of twenty degrees Celsius.;
Alcoholic beverage: a beverage that at a temperature of twenty degrees Centigrade contains more than one half percent (0.5%) alcohol by volume;
The Industry: the part of the business community involved in the production, import, distribution, sale and provision of alcohol-free and / or low-alcohol beer;
Promotions: promotions in catering establishments, or at events or parties or in public spaces, whereby a promotion team (whether or not dressed in the look & feel of the brand), engaged by a producer or importer, enables the attending public to be introduced to one or more of the manufacturer’s or importer’s branded products;
Youth channel: a channel of which over 25% of the total viewing and listening public are minors. The percentage of minors in the viewing and/ or listening audience is determined based on the weighted average of the viewer and listener figures as compared to a channel’s entire programme offer. The percentage must be measured based on a viewer and listener survey generally accepted in the market. Every year, in accordance with the provisions of the Advertising Code for Alcoholic Beverages, the industry determines which channels are to be designated as youth channels based on a survey by an independent agency.
Minors: individuals under 18;
Premium: a gift article carrying the brand name and / or logo of alcohol-free and / or low-alcohol beer that a consumer receives with the purchase of an alcohol-free or low-alcohol beer that he/ she receives as part of a Promotion;
Advertising for alcohol-free beer: any public and / or systematic direct or indirect commendation of alcohol-free beer by an advertiser or completely or partially on his behalf, either with or without the aid of third parties. If an advertisement includes both non-alcoholic beer and an alcoholic beverage as defined in the Advertising Code for Alcoholic Beverages, the Advertising Code for Alcoholic Beverages will apply. Advertising is also understood to include services.
Advertising for low-alcohol beer: any public and / or systematic direct or indirect commendation of low-alcohol beer by an advertiser or completely or partially on his behalf, with or without the aid of third parties. If an advertisement includes both low-alcohol beer and an alcoholic beverage as referenced in the Advertising Code for Alcoholic Beverages, the Advertising Code for Alcoholic Beverages is applicable. Advertising is also understood to include services.
Sampling: an occasion initiated by a member of the industry, in accordance with the conditions drawn up to that end, as described in the explanation to Article 12, in which an alcohol-free or low-alcohol beer is offered free of charge to the consumer for consumption on the spot at a trade fair, during a catering industry or event promotion or at another location.
Article 1 – Application
This code applies to advertising for alcohol-free or low-alcohol beer. In the following situations, only the RvA applies instead of this code:
1. if it is not clear that the beer is alcohol-free or low-alcohol, or
2. if advertising is made for alcohol-free or low-alcohol beer as well as for alcoholic beer.
Explanation Article 1
The following example situations are seen as advertising to which the RvAAB applies:
· Mentioning or displaying the word “beer”, provided that this does not refer to alcoholic beer. For example: “[Beer brand X] 0.0%, a deliciously refreshing non-alcoholic beer”.
· Displaying the 0.0% beer or 0.5% beer if the beer clearly states “0.0%” or “alcohol-free” or “0.5%” or “low-alcohol” respectively.
· Mentioning or displaying the (brand) name of the alcoholic beer as part of the (brand) name of the alcohol-free or low-alcohol variant. For example “[Beer brand X]” as part of “[Beer brand X] 0.5%”.
· The display of names and general logos of breweries of alcoholic beer, provided that these names and logos bear the clear and continuous addition “0.0%” (or any other addition clearly showing that the advertising message relates only to the alcohol-free or low-alcohol variant).
In place of this code, the RvA only applies in the following situations:
· Showing or mentioning alcoholic beverages together with alcohol-free and / or low-alcohol beer.
· Implicit or explicit reference is made to alcoholic beverages. If alcohol-free or low-alcohol beer is shown, it must be immediately clear that it concerns alcohol-free or low-alcohol beer and non-alcoholic beverages.
· The general logo of a beer brand, the general brand name or the term “beer” is shown or mentioned without always directly and clearly stating “0.0%”, “alcohol-free” or any other indication that makes it clear that it is alcohol-free or, where applicable, low-alcohol beer;
In accordance with the Media Act 2008, advertising for alcohol-free or low-alcohol beer may be broadcast on radio and television between 06:00 and 21:00 if the RvAAB applies to the communication in accordance with paragraph 1.
Article 2 – Abstinence
Advertising for alcohol-free and low-alcohol beer may not portray or mention abstinence from alcohol consumption or moderate alcohol consumption in a negative manner.
Article 3 – Minors: do not specifically target minors
Advertising for alcohol-free and low-alcohol beer may not specifically target minors. More in particular, communications as described in the explanation to Article 3 are prohibited.
Explanation of Article 3
Prohibited advertising communications within the context of article 3 of the RvAAB are in any case (non exhaustive):
· Communications making use of teen idols;
· communications/promotions making use of promotional items (such as toy figures, stuffed animals, toy cars, games, stickers, buttons, football cards, beach toys or school-related items) insofar as these specifically target minors;
· music specifically targeting teenagers that can be downloaded free of charge;
· communications making use of music specifically targeting teenagers;
· communications in which use is made of teenage language;
· communications in which use is made of situations that refer to teenage behaviour: rebellious behaviour, an infatuation, school parties, finals;
· communications in which Sinterklaas or Santa Claus is portrayed, insofar as these specifically target minors;
· communications using design that is popular at such time among minors
Article 4 – Minors: age of persons shown in advertisements
Advertising for alcohol-free and low-alcohol beer may not portray individuals who are or appear to be evidently younger than 18. For advertising communications in which use is made of enacted situations with scripts and models hired by or on the instructions of the advertiser, no individuals who are or who evidently appear to be younger than 25 may be portrayed.
Explanation of Article 4
On Facebook and other (social network) sites with photographs showing individuals who have not been hired by the advertiser in which the content of the site is managed by or on behalf of the advertiser and over which the advertiser has editorial control, the individuals portrayed must be 18 or older.
Article 5 – Minors: no suggestion of immaturity
Advertising for alcohol-free and low-alcohol beer may not suggest that the consumption of alcohol-free or low-alcohol beer is a sign of maturity and / or that the consumption of (other) non-alcoholic drinks is a sign of immaturity.
Article 6 – Minors: no premiums during promotions
Offering premiums or causing their offering to minors during promotions is prohibited
Article 7 – Minors: audience comprised of no more than 25% of minors
Advertising for alcohol-free and low-alcohol beer in any form whatsoever must not reach an audience comprised of more than twenty-five percent (25%) of minors. The reach is determined over a representative measurement period that is determined based on the specific circumstances of the case (including the location, the medium, the impact and the proportionality) and using reach figures that are as objective as possible.
The standard for determining the reach of advertising communications is the reach survey generally accepted in the market or, if this is unavailable, other sound and representative proof.
The visitor figures apply as the standard for the reach of events. The burden of proof in respect of the reach is borne by the advertiser, who must base such proof on viewer or listener figures generally accepted in the market or other sound and representative proof. For websites and their pages, the user profile must be made plausible.
Article 7 does not apply to advertising communications that are part of the regular street scene or to incidental situations that cannot be influenced by the advertiser. The regular street scene is understood to include all situations that can be reasonably expected in the street scene and that are also permitted pursuant to this Code, for example lightboxes depicting the brands sold or on tap on the building fronts of bars and/or restaurants, and advertising on bus shelters.
Incidental situations are situations of a one-off nature, for example a Sinterklaas parade in part of a city centre or village, but also, for example, a situation in which a promotional team is moving from one catering establishment to another without actively advertising and accidentally encounters a group of minors.
Article 8 – Minors: not around children’s programmes
Advertisements for alcohol-free and low-alcohol beer may not be broadcast on radio and television immediately prior to, during, or immediately after programmes that are heard or viewed for more than twenty-five percent (25%) by minors, according to viewer or listener figures generally accepted in the market. (Note: this clause may be more accurately expressed as ….by an audience comprised of more than etc.)
Article 9 – Minors: not on youth channels, magazines, websites
Advertising for alcohol-free and low-alcohol beer is prohibited on youth channels.
Advertising for alcohol-free and low-alcohol beer is prohibited in magazines that specifically target minors.
Advertising for alcohol-free and low-alcohol beer is prohibited on websites that specifically target minors.
Article 10 – Active internet marketing
Paragraph 1 – Additional effect
In addition to the provisions of the Dutch Advertising Code, the provisions of this article apply to active internet marketing.
Paragraph 2 – Communications on an internet platform controlled by the advertiser
1. Advertising placed on an internet platform controlled to some extent by the advertiser must satisfy the Dutch Advertising Code, irrespective of the party placing it.
2. If a party other than the advertiser places advertising on the aforementioned platform:
· the advertiser must also – in addition to paragraph 2 (a) – have ascertained that the person placing the advertising is at least 18, unless:
· the person must have stated that he/ she is at least 18 years old.
1. In the absence of a statement under paragraph 2b 2nd indent and / or in case there is doubt as to whether the person is at least 18, the advertiser will ensure that this person cannot place communications. If no selection or access control is possible in respect of an internet platform, the advertiser must indicate at a clearly observable spot that the content of and placing on that internet platform is meant exclusively for persons who are at least 18.
Paragraph 3 – Communications distributed by the advertiser
With active internet marketing in which the recipient can be selected including but not limited to advertising via e-mail, posts on a social media account of a party other than the advertiser or direct marketing based on digital profiles linked to a cookie:
1. A minimum age of 18 must be applied as effective selection criterion, or another selection criterion must be applied from which this minimum age ensues, unless
2. The recipient has stated to be at least 18
3. If the statement under 3b is lacking, the advertiser shall ensure that no more than 25% minors are reached as provided in article 7.
Before making advertising comprised of placing or responding to a communication on a social media account other than that of the advertiser, the advertiser must have ascertained that the owner of that social media account is at least 18. If this has not proven to be the case or if it is impossible to do so, placing a communication is prohibited.
Explanation of Article 10
“Liking” the advertiser on any post, status, photograph or other communication by third parties or “re-tweeting” is currently prohibited for that reason unless it can be demonstrated that the owner of the relevant social media account is at least 18. For example, the account may be the official account of a company or a well-known natural person. If a natural person is involved who is not well-known, the advertiser must be reasonably able to determine, using information on his profile page, that the person involved is 18 or older.
Note: obviously, the rules based on legislation and regulations within the context of privacy and the protection of personal data (as currently laid down in the Personal Data Protection Act, the Telecommunications Act and the Distribution of Advertising by e-mail Code, among others) apply as well, including the consent requirement, drawing attention to and providing the option of unsubscribing, and the information obligations, to the extent applicable.
Article 11 – Websites
With websites where the brand name or trade name of the alcohol-free or low-alcohol beer is part of the domain name, visitors must be asked via an age check on the home page or prior to the first page on the website being visited whether they are 18 or older. The age check must at least consist of entering or clicking on the visitor’s date of birth (day/month/year). Access to the website (or page if the visitor is directed there) may only be provided if the visitor has indicated that he or she is at least 18 at the time of the age check.
Article 12 – Promotions
Promotional teams may not promote alcohol-free and low-alcohol beer to minors. Commendation in this manner is prohibited at locations where more than twenty-five percent (25%) of the audience at that time consists of minors.
During promotions low-alcohol beer may not be offered free of charge.
Sampling may be organised during promotions.
Promotions must be performed by individuals who are at least 18.
Article 13 – Outdoor and cinema advertising
Advertising for alcohol-free and low-alcohol beer is prohibited on billboards, scaffolding banners, bus shelters and Mupis (multi-purpose advertising installations) located within the sight of rehab clinics or educational institutions of which the majority of the visitors are minors.
Advertisements for low-alcohol beer may not be located along motorways or other roads outside of built-up areas
Advertisements for alcohol-free and low-alcohol beer may not be shown in cinema halls prior to children’s movies, family movies with a synchronised translation in Dutch or movies shown during a children’s matinee or in school viewing. In respect of all other films, advertising for alcohol-free and low-alcohol beer may only be shown if no more than twenty-five percent (25%) of the audience are minors.
Article 14 – Pregnant women
Advertising for low-alcohol beer may not specifically target pregnant women.
Article 15 – Active traffic participation
Advertisements for low-alcohol beer may not create any connection between the consumption of low-alcohol beer and actively participating in traffic with any means of transport whatsoever.
When a commendation for low-alcohol beer is displayed on any means of transport, the means of transport must also display a clearly legible warning against active participation in traffic after consuming alcohol / low-alcohol beer).
An exception is made for means of transport used to transport low-alcohol beer, such as lorries, tap equipment technicians and technical service vehicles for the catering industry
Article 16 – Expositions and Tours
Visiting an exhibition or tour in a brewery is prohibited for individuals under 18, unless:
1. they are accompanied by an adult during the visit;
2. the exposition or tour predominantly focuses on the production process and/ or the craftsmanship and/ or the affiliation with a town or region, and in which, therefore, less predominant focus is placed on commending alcohol-free beer, low-alcohol beer and / or alcoholic beverage;
3. the consumption of alcohol-free beer, low-alcohol beer and / or alcoholic beverages on site must always be held in a location that is physically separated from the exposition or tour area, with the exception of allowing the tasting of intermediate and/or finished products of the brewing / distillation / fermentation process in small amounts and as a manner of explanation. All applicable laws and rules, in particular those regarding the age limit for the supply of alcoholic beverages, must be observed.
ENTRY INTO FORCE
This code enters into force as from October 15, 2020.