We’re entering the end-of-year festivities leading up to the New Year. It’s another major money-making period for restaurants. Although there is currently a pandemic crisis that affects people’s way of living and income, we believe that by the end of the year travelling and celebrations will be just as lively as they’ve been in the past.
And, of course, one thing that goes together with the festival season, particularly at the end of the year when the weather is cool, is alcoholic beverages. Right now, a lot of operators are wondering whether they can advertise that they sell them, because they saw it on the news that they weren’t allowed to advertise liquor. What should they do to let customers know they have good promotions customers can’t miss or cool alcoholic drinks waiting to be served? Let’s look at some legal ways to do it.
Section 32, A Major Section in the Alcoholic Beverage Control Act B.E. 2551 (2008)
Since this concerns the law, we have to start by stating the law that’s related to the sale of alcoholic beverages, the Alcoholic Beverage Control Act B.E. 2551 (2008). One of the most controversial sections of this act is Section 32, which directly concerns advertisement. Section 32 stipulates the following:
No person shall advertise or display, directly or indirectly, the name or trademark of any alcoholic beverage in a manner showing the properties thereof or inducing another person to drink.
Advertisements or public relations provided by the manufacturer of any kind of alcoholic beverage shall only be made for giving information thereof or giving social creative knowledge without displaying any illustration of such alcoholic beverage or its package, except for the display of a symbol of such alcoholic beverage or that of its manufacturer as prescribed by the Ministerial Regulation.
The provisions of paragraph one and paragraph two shall not apply to any advertisement broadcast from outside of the Kingdom.
The penalty for violating this section is imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year, or a fine not exceeding 500,000 baht, or both.
Interpret the meaning of the law and you’ll find a safe method
Since the law clearly states what you can and cannot do, you’ll see a clear way to advertise without breaking the law if you interpret the meaning.
The main point of Section 32 is this: No person shall advertise or display, directly or indirectly, the name or trademark of any alcoholic beverage in a manner showing the properties thereof or inducing another person to drink.
According to the information provided by Dr. Niphon Chinanonwet, Director of the Office of the Alcohol Control Committee (OACC), Department of Disease Control about the rumor that Section 32 was misinterpreted that even pictures of a regular person holding an alcoholic beverage posted on social media are illegal. Technically, Section 32 stipulates two essential points as follows:
- You can’t advertise alcoholic beverages for commercial purposes, for example, posting pictures of liquor in addition to statementswith the intent to sell it and you can’t hold any activity aimed at promoting the sale of liquor.
- You can’t advertise or display, directly or indirectly, the name or trademark of any alcoholic beverage in a manner showing the properties thereof or inducing another person to drink.
So, regular people posting pictures of bottles or glasses of beer showing the logo is not considered illegal. However, celebrities, such as stars and actors, are different from regular people because these people can influence the people who see the pictures. This is considered a violation.
How to advertise that you sell alcoholic beverages without breaking the law.
- You can’t use pictures or media from celebrities for public relations.
- You can’t mention the name or brand of the alcoholic beverages.
- You can’t describe the properties of the alcoholic beverages.
- You can’t advertise discount promotions for alcoholic beverages while clearly stating their names and brands
Therefore, you can actually advertise using the names and brands without specifying that they’re alcoholic beverages. Otherwise, you could use pictures of bottles without the trademarks or colors showing what brands they are other than the fact that they are alcoholic beverages. Likewise, you could create pictures of glasses or jugs, such as 2 jugs + 1 free jug, etc.
We have to comply with whatever the law says. You can use how the big brands do their advertisement as examples and adapt it for yourself because, believe us, if someone is a drinker, they’ll know what you mean.
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