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Free supply

Paragraph 1
Except in the case of tasting sessions, advertising involving an alcoholic beverage being offered by a member of the industry or with the active co-operation of a member of the industry to private individuals free of charge or at less than half the normal retail price is not permitted.

Paragraph 2
The value of a premium offered may not be more than half of the total value of the purchased product including the purchased premium.

Explanation of Article 20
According to the new Alcohol Law, that entered into force by 1st of July 2021,  the maximum discount permitted is 25% of the normal retail price. It is not allowed to use the word ‘free’ or synonyms thereof (such as ‘present’ or ‘treat’) in communications.

It also holds for grocery packages and rewards in competitions and/or actions that no alcoholic beverages may be given away, even though the word ‘free’ or a synonym of it is not used in the message.

Guidelines to Article 20

Giving away alcoholic beverages for free in whichever form is not permitted. This does not suit responsible alcohol marketing. At the moment of the transaction there always has to be a financial reimbursement of  a least 75% of the normal retail price. It appears that the RCC interprets this article very strictly. Presenting people with festival tickets is permitted, provided that the winners will not receive any ‘free’ alcoholic beverages during the festival. So do not use ‘all-inclusive’ or ‘including drinks’ in your communications.

The value of a premium offered may not be more than half of the total value of the purchased product including the purchased premium. Below two calculation examples will be provided.

Example 1:

May you offer a crate of beer at a 25 % discount and a premium with a value of €2,-?

Crate of beer at € 12 (with a 25 % discount) + premium at € 2 = €14,-

Offering this crate at a discount of 25% and a premium with the value of €2 is permitted, because you are paying €9,00 for the crate and this is than 25% of €14,-, which is the total value (crate + premium).

For promotional campaigns in which for example the second entrance ticket is for free with the purchase of for example a crate of beer, the following calculation example applies:

Example 2:

Crate of beer at € 7,50 + ticket at €40,- + free ticket at € 40,- = the total value of € 87,50.

Offering a free ticket is not permitted because it amounts to higher than 25% of € 87,50, which is the total value.

All-inclusive party? Free drinks?!
Winners could win an all-inclusive Ladies Party at their home. According to the RCC there is question here of offering alcoholic beverages for free, because this party is completely taken care of by Canei. Even though it is not specifically communicated that the reward also includes Canei. Only by the linkage of the brand name of the alcoholic beverage Canei, it is sufficiently plausible that alcoholic beverages of this brand will also be provided.

Because part of the business that is involved in the supply of alcoholic beverages, the hotel and catering industry, is not a member of the STIVA, enforcement is not possible in this respect, except on the basis of voluntariness or co-operation of the media involved. Any pronouncements on Article 20 with regard to catering entrepreneurs who do not return a Compliance form to the Advertising Code Foundation ( Stichting Reclame Code (SRC)), will be communicated by STIVA to the entrepreneur involved and the local authority of the place where the entrepreneur/enterprise involved is established.