Switzerland set to allow alcohol ads
September 24th, 2009 - 12:50 UTC
by Andy Sennitt.

The Swiss Parliament has paved the way for beer and wine commercials to air nationally in Switzerland, bringing the country in line with European Union regulations. The Senate yielded today to calls from the House of Representatives to change the rules that until now have only allowed local stations to air alcohol ads.

Under current law the public national Swiss Broadcasting Corporation was forbidden to broadcast such commercials on Swiss airwaves, even when the ads originated in a country that allows them. Those restrictions conflict with EU guidelines that provide for “television without borders”, meaning advertisements should only be subject to laws in their country of origin. For example: Since Germany allows alcohol commercials, the ads should be allowed on Swiss airwaves, too. Adverts for spirits remain banned.

Lawmakers are expected to give final approval on Friday to participation in the EU Media promotion programme that would open the door for such ads. The programme also provides training and funds for filmmakers. Switzerland’s participation will cost an initial SFr41 million ($40 million) plus another SFr10 million per year until 2013.