No advertising of alcoholic beverages in any form may reach a public that consists of more than twenty-five percent (25%) of minors. The reach is determined over a representative measuring period that is determined on the basis of the concrete circumstances of the case (among other its location, medium, impact, proportionality) and by means of reach figures that are as objective as possible.
The standard for determining the reach of advertising messages is the generally accepted survey for this purpose in the market and, in case not available, any other valid and representative evidence.
In case of events the attendance figures are the standard for determining the reach of advertising messages. The burden of proof regarding the reach of advertising messages falls on the advertiser, who has to base his figures on generally accepted viewer or listener ratings in the market or any other valid and representative evidence. As far as web sites and their subpages are concerned, one should make a reasonable case for using user profiles.
Article 21 is not applicable to advertising messages that are part of the regular street scene and to incidental situations on which the advertiser has no influence. Regular street scene means all those situations that you may reasonably expect in the street scene which are also in accordance with this Code, such as light boxes with the brand name and/or logo of the brands that are on draft or served in the front of cafes and / or restaurants and abri’s. Incidental situations are situations with a single character, like the entry of Sinterklaas/Santa Claus in a part of the town or a village. Another example is a situation where a promotion team moves from one outlet to another one without actively advertising and cross a group of minors.
Explanation of Article 21
More particularly, messages that are part of the regular street scene are considered to be (not exhaustive) messages where the brand name and/or logo is shown beer mats, tap button, sunshades, flags, clothes of the barkeeper and banners that you may reasonably expect at a distribution point or mobile tap during events or fairs for the identification of the product and brand.
Guidelines to Article 21
Make sure that you will never reach an audience with your advertising messages which consists for more than 25% of minors. This also applies to locations of catering industry promotions, events, internet sites and their subpages. If you cannot determine this with certainty and if there are any signals that more than 25% of the visitors is younger than 18 years old, then do not do it. The burden of proof always falls on the advertiser. You can ask STIVA for a format on how to determine the reach figures.
Sometimes sponsorship of an event is not permitted …
For some years Grolsch has been sponsor of The Night of Hengelo. From attendance figures of Sport Monitor complainant has concluded that more than 25% of the visitors were minors. Grolsch disputed the attendance figures of Sport Monitor, but has not been able to prove that a public has been reached with this event which consisted for less than 25% of minors.
… but if you are able to demonstrate that the visitors are predominantly old enough, it is permitted
This judgment of the RCC shows the importance of a good documentation. This complaint was rejected because Heineken was well able to document how the promotional team was briefed beforehand and was able to prove with figures of another honouring that less than 25% of the public consisted of minors.