Al­co­hol ad­ver­tis­ing ban in Lithua­nia cre­ates trou­ble around mag­a­zines from abroad

Baltic News Network - - News -

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.

REUTERS/SCANPIX

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