Turkey ponders fining social media booze ads10th March, 2014 by Amy Hopkins
Turkish authorities are considering fining social media users who promote alcohol brands following heavy restrictions on alcohol advertising in the country.
According to reports, the Turkish Government might implement a policy which would fine consumers and drinks companies sharing pictures that “suggest advertising for alcohol brands” across social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
The country adopted strict legislation in May last year forbidding the advertising and promotion of alcohol on TV – including scenes that depict drinking – as well as the sale of alcohol between 10pm and 6am.
The policy was introduced by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in a bid to combat a “tipsy and wasted” youth culture.
Since the implementation of the ban, alcohol companies have sought the use of social media to promote their brands.
Currently, sharing pictures of alcohol brands on social media in Turkey is permitted since the promotion is unpaid.
However, according to the Hurriyet Daily News, government discussions could see Turkey’s Tobacco and Alcohol Market Regulatory Authority fine users and brands for promoting alcoholic beverages between 5,000 and 200,000 lira (£1,355-£54,223).
When first introduced, the ban prompted widespread criticism, with one European spirits organisation claiming that it prevent new brands from entering the market, while allowing the counterfeit spirits market to flourish.