Advertising for alcoholic beverages is subject to many restrictions in Brazil. This article will explain the main ones and what changes this industry has recently faced.
Advertising in Brazil is a large, fast-growing market. Despite the new challenges brought by the development of digital media and the current difficulties seen in some other countries, this industry keeps expanding.
Zenith Optimedia estimates that the Brazilian advertising market will be the 5th largest in the world by 2015, overtaking the United Kingdom. In 2013, BRL 32,2 billion was invested in advertising in Brazil, an increase of almost 7% in comparison to the previous year.
The world’s largest advertising agencies are all established in Brazil, and they are all inserted in a dynamic market, that deals with new platforms, new products and of course, new rules.
Regulations for advertising in Brazil are always changing, either by laws decreed by governmental spheres or by the entities that are responsible for regulating this industry in the country.
Who regulates Advertising
There is a joint effort to regulate advertising in Brazil. Many laws enacted by municipal, state and federal government affect this industry directly.
There are other entities that monitor advertising for specific areas. Some examples are Tribunais Eleitorais, or Electoral Courts, who are responsible for political advertising; and Agência Nacional de Vigilância Sanitária, Anvisa or National Agency of Health Surveillance, who set restrictions for medical advertising.
In the case of alcoholic beverages, most laws are defined by the federal government.
The Conselho Nacional de Autorregulamentação Publicitária, which is Portuguese for National Council of Self-Regulation Advertising, CONAR, is the main entity responsible for the regulation of advertising in Brazil. CONAR is a non-government organization, and it’s main function is to supervise the principal ethics in the advertising industry. They have a board of professionals responsible for reviewing any complaints made by consumers, companies, organizations or authorities that might have been offended, attacked or misled by an advertisement or promotional action.
Based on such complaints, CONAR’s board decides if the advert being analyzed is somehow offensive or if it breaches the Brazilian advertising industry ethics code. Consequences can vary from the modification of the advertisement to its complete removal, and even fines, in some cases.
Brazil’s first advertising ethics code was published in 1977, two years before the foundation of CONAR. The entity is composed of members from various sectors related to this industry, such as advertisers, agencies and even specialized press vehicles.
Alcoholic beverage restrictions
In Brazil the biggest problems from alcohol consumption are considered to derive from its consumption, such as road accidents caused by drunk drivers, increased aggressiveness of consumers and alcohol intoxication.
Brazil has the third largest beer market and the fourth largest spirits market in the world, making it one of the countries where alcohol is most consumed. In order to reduce the incidence of problems related to high alcohol consumption levels, the Brazilian government discourages the consumption of these beverages through regulatory instruments like elevated taxes and advertising regulations.
CONAR instituted new advertising regulations for alcoholic beverages in 2008, since its previous legislation was considered too liberal and overlooked many factors.
The target audience of the advert must not be children or adolescents. Therefore people appearing in adverts for alcoholic beverages must not appear to be under the age of 25 and the advert must not use any language or allusion that could be attractive to children or adolescents.
Adverts must not induce irresponsible or exaggerated consumption or suggest that its consumption is a sign of maturity or of professional or social success. As such, references to sensuality must not be the main content of the message and advertising models must not be treated as sexual objects.
All elements in the advert must not present or suggest the ingestion of the product and are required not to despise the non-consumption of alcohol. Consumption is not to be associated with driving vehicles, to dangerous, illegal or socially reprehensible situations, to any professional activity, to any situation that suggests aggressivity, use of guns and a change of emotional balance.
It is also forbidden to use olympic sports uniforms in any advert.
Airing of alcoholic beverage adverts on television or radio, including by subscription, is be between 21:30 and 6:00. In case of a sponsored broadcast of an event that are not comprised on the regular channel schedule, advertising is restricted to identification of the brand and/or producer and slogan, without recommendation to the consumption of such products.
There is a warning clause related to the advertising of alcoholic beverages in Brazil that is to be inserted in any piece of the advert. In the case of adverts on radios, TV channels, cinemas, concert halls, theaters, online videos and telephone marketing, the warning clause is to be inserted at the end of the advert. On packaging and labels of alcoholic beverages, the warning clause should state that the sale and consumption of such products is intended only for individuals over the age of 18.
There are several different statements that can be used as warning clauses in advertising for alcoholic beverages. The most common warning clauses used are:
- ”Beba com moderação” - which is Portuguese for “Drink in moderation”
- ”Se for dirigir não beba” - which is Portuguese for “Do not drink if you will drive”
- “Venda e consumo proibidos para menores de 18 anos” - which is Portuguese for “Sale and consumption forbidden for younger than 18”
Formatting of the warning clause
As to the size and way they are displayed, each communication vehicle has its own specifications:
- On radio adverts, the warning clause is to be aired during a time sufficient period enough for a calm and understandable utterance
- On all video adverts, the warning clause is to be aired during a period of time corresponding to, at least, 10% of the duration of the advert. A blue screen with white letters with the warning clause on it is to be aired and has to have the following specifications: font family Univers, Medium variation, size 48, uppercase
In the case of newspapers, tabloids, magazines and outdoors adverts, the specifications vary according to the size of the advert. But, all of them need to be inserted on a white rectangular background, framed by inner fillet, in black letters, standard Univers 65 Bold and uppercase. In the case of regular newspapers:
- If the advert takes a whole page, the warning clause is to be Univers 36
- If the advert takes 50% of a page, the warning clause is to be Univers 24
- If the advert takes 25% of a page, the warning clause is to be Univers 12
In the case of tabloids:
- If the advert takes a whole page, the warning clause is to be Univers 24
- If the advert takes 50% of a page, the warning clause is to be Univers 15
- If the advert takes 25% of a page, the warning clause is to be Univers 12
In the case of magazines:
- If the advert takes a whole page or even a double page, the warning clause is to be Univers 18
- If the advert takes 50% of a page, the warning clause is to be Univers 12
- If the advert takes 25% of a page, the warning clause is to be Univers 6
In all the cases mentioned above, should there be an advert size not specified by CONAR’s regulation, the size of the warning clause is to be proportionalized based on the definition that an advert takes 25% of a page.
In the case of outdoors adverts:
- Size between 0 and 250 cm², the warning clause is to be Univers 12
- Size between 251 and 500 cm², the warning clause is to be Univers 20
- Size between 501 and 1000 cm², the warning clause is to be Univers 24
- Size between 1001 and 1500 cm², the warning clause is to be Univers 26
- Size between 1501 and 2000 cm², the warning clause is to be Univers 30
- Size between 2001 and 3000 cm², the warning clause is to be Univers 36
- Size between 3001 and 4000 cm², the warning clause is to be Univers 40
- Size between 4001 and 5000 cm², the warning clause is to be Univers 48
In this case, should there be a size of advert not specified by CONAR’s regulation, the size of the warning clause is to be proportionalized based on the definition that an advert be 500 cm² in size.
In addition to these regulations, posters and panels being exhibited at the point of sale for alcoholic beverages, besides the warning clause mentioned above, the slogan “VENDA E CONSUMO PROIBIDOS PARA MENORES DE 18 ANOS” is to be displayed, legibly, in contrasting colors with those of the advert’s background.
Exemption from displaying the warning clause
The following adverts are exempt from displaying the warning clause:
- Motionless adverts in stadiums and sports arenas, provided that only the product, brand and slogan are displayed
- Vignettes and similar
- Sponsorship in sponsored TV or radio broadcasts
Fines for disrespecting such measures can range from BRL 50.000 to BRL 6 million. Brasil Kirin, for example, received a fine of BRL 6 million in 2013 for a Devassa advert that was considered abusive since it compared a dark ale beer to an afro-descendant woman.