Alcohol advertising ban in Lithuania creates trouble around magazines from abroad
Since an alcohol advertising ban has come into effect in Lithuania in January 1, foreign publishers have refused to adjust to the new rules making their local distributors tear out pages from the magazines.
Canadian-British news agency Reuters reports that the situation is side-effect alcohol control bill signed into law in June by President Dalia Grybauskaite, who has now herself likened the outcome to medieval times, evaluating it brought shame on the Baltic country. Lithuania’s largest distributor of print media, Press Express, now is weary of a fine of up to 30,000 euros per page in case it does not remove or cover up liquor advertisements, its head manager Vigintas Bartasevicius explained to Reuters.
He also added that Lithuania’s largest retail chain had refused to accept the altered magazines, considering them «damaged goods», meanwhile, the publishers of National Geographic had told him they could not create an edition of a magazine free from alcohol ads.
Lithuania imposes further restrictions on alcohol market
After some tightening of alcohol consumption and sales in Lithuania in 2017, new, tighter restrictions are put in place this year. Starting January 1, all alcohol ads, with a few exceptions, are banned and the legal drinking age is raised from 18 to 20. Alcohol selling hours in retail stores are limited to between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. from Mondays to Saturdays and between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Sundays. Alcoholic drinks are banned in sports arenas and sports halls during sports events. Cafes, pizzerias and bars will be able to serve alcoholic drinks in outside seating areas within 40 meters of the doors.