First Results of Regulating Alcohol Marketing on Social Media in Finland

Social media is being used by the alcohol industry as a platform to promote their products.

This has raised concerns about adolescents’ exposure to alcohol advertising, as social media is extensively used by young people.

Through the Alcohol Act, Finland became the first country in the world to monitor and regulate social media for alcohol-related content.

The Finnish Alcohol Act restricts social media alcohol adverts in the following three ways:

  1. the use of interactive games, competitions and lotteries is prohibited
  2. the use of user-generated content may not be distributed through the alcohol advertiser’s social media page
  3. prohibition of content that is designed to be shared by consumers, preventing alcohol brands from encouraging consumers to share content that is produced for the purpose of advertising alcohol.

Analysis of the impact of the Finnish Alcohol Act has found that, since 2015, there has been a downward trend in the amount of alcohol-related content on social media sites in Finland. 

The content that remains is less interactive in nature, meaning young people are less likely to click, share or like alcohol-related adverts. Few of the adverts directly targeted young people.

To read more about the Finnish Alcohol Act and the research being carried out at the University of Helsinki click here.

Emmi Kauppila describes the initial findings of the world’s first case study in online alcohol marketing regulation- EUCAM