Finland Plans to Ban Alcohol Advertising in Public Places

In a proposal to be sent to parliament in the spring, the Finnish government is planning to ban all alcohol advertisement on public places in order to reduce youth exposure to alcohol promotion. The decision comes shortly after the government took action to reduce cigarette visibility by banning ads and requiring that cigarette products be kept under the counter or behind closed doors where children can't see them. While the new proposal will remove all alcohol advertisement from public places like bus stops and billboards, alcohol sponsorship of sports games and concerts will still be allowed. However, marketing based on consumer participation, such as competitions and lotteries, will become illegal. To read more on the dangers of out-of-home alcohol advertising, click here. For our guide to effective regulation of out-of-home alcohol advertising, click here.


Pennsylvania House Passes Liquor Privatization Bill

PAStateBoardThe Pennsylvania House of Representatives recently took a dangerous step toward privatizing the sale of wine and spirits, voting 105-90 to approve a measure which would gradually sell off state-held liquor licenses to private entrepreneurs. All but five Republicans backed the HB 790, and all 85 Democrats opposed it. Should the bill pass the Senate, Pennsylvania's 600+ state run liquor stores would close, and the state would lose at least $80 million annually. What’s worse, Pennsylvanians would pay the price in increased societal costs and alcohol-related harm. The state Senate will hold its first hearing on the bill on Tuesday, April 30.

Free Our Sports 2013 Video Contest Winners Announced

Three young filmmakers were awarded top prizes for their entertaining counter-alcohol ads submitted to the 2013 Free Our Sports™ Youth Film Festival. The contest challenged them to help expose and eliminate global alcohol advertising, sponsorships, branding and promotions from every sport, from college games to the NFL championship, from the World Series to the World Cup and Olympics. The winners are:

-- First Prize ($1000) – Regrets” (Adnan Islam, age 14, Olathe, Kansas)
-- Second Prize ($500) – Alcohol Ads and Kids” (James Jackson, age 20, Allendale, Michigan)
-- Third Prize ($250) – The Right Message” (Mikinley Weaver, age 17, North Salt Lake, Utah)

Congrats to the winners and everyone who entered! Learn more about the Free Our Sports 2013 contest here



Report: Alcohol-Related Harm Costs Wisconsin $6.8 Billion a Year

HealthFirstLogonew report has put a price tag on the annual cost of excessive drinking in Wisconsin, estimating that it costs the state $6.8 billion a year. The study, conducted and published by Health First Wisconsin, totaled drinking-related costs in the areas of health care, criminal justice, lost workplace productivity, and at home. The figure amounts to the equivalent of $1200 per year per Wisconsin resident, and taxpayers end up absorbing approximately $2.9 billion of the total costs. Examples of alcohol-related harm contributing to the cost in 2011 included more than 1,500 deaths, nearly 50,000 hospitalizations, and more than 46,000 treatment admissions. The new Wisconsin study is similar to the Alcohol Justice report, The Annual Catastrophe of Alcohol Use in California, available here