Danish bars reported to police for ads aimed at underage drinkers

A string of Danish nightclubs have been reported to police for Facebook posts and marketing which encouraged underage drinking.

Danish bars reported to police for ads aimed at underage drinkers
File photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen / Ritzau Scanpix

“Free beer for the first hour. Over 16s, unless you are 15 and it’s your last school day,” read a Facebook post by one of six bars or clubs reported to police for illegal advertising.

Six bars across the country have been reported to trading standards authority Forbrugerombudsmanden over the ad.

“If discotheques target their marketing towards under-18s, alcohol must not be referred to in the marketing material,” consumer ombudsman Christina Toftegaard Nielsen said in a press statement.

“We report breaches of that rule, because its purpose is to protect young people,” Nielsen added.

The bars in question are Retro in Helsingør, which made 22 illegal Facebook posts; Temabar in Vejle (5 posts), Temabar in Viborg (2), One in Fredericia (3), and Dr. Emils in Marielyst and Mona in Maribo (1 post each).

Complaints to the ombudsman over the bars were made by industry interest organisation Alkohol & Samfund (Alcohol and Society) and advertising standards board Alkoholreklamenævnet.

Alkohol & Samfund director Peter Konow welcomed the move to file complaints with police.

“Adverts that encourage young people to get drunk are hazardous to health and are therefore banned,” Konow said.

Current Danish licensing laws stipulate that people under 18 are allowed to enter bars and restaurants that become nightclubs until 2am, providing they do not consume alcohol whilst there.

READ ALSO: Danish police want nightlife ban on under 18s 

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Danish 15-year-olds drink most alcohol in Europe

Danish 15-year-olds drink more frequently and are more likely to have been drunk than those from any other country in Europe, according to a new study by the World Health Organisation.

A reveller at the Roskilde Festival in 2014. Photo: David Leth Williams/Ritzau Scanpix
According to the report, 82 percent of Danish 15-year-olds have tried alcohol, compared to 59 percent on average over Europe as a whole. 
At the same time, 65 percent of Danish 15-year-olds said they had drunk alcohol in the preceding month, and 42 percent said they had been drunk at least once. That is roughly twice as many as on average in Europe. 
The study, which is carried out every fifth year, surveys 227,000 European school pupils aged, 11, 13, and 15. 
“The worrying story is that we had had some improvement in the alcohol data, but over the last four years, we have seen some tendencies in the wrong direction and that is probably why we are staying in the very bad end,” said Mette Rasmussen, who led the Danish part of the project at Denmark's National Institute of Public Health. 
“We have a social alcohol drinking culture in Denmark. Alcohol is a key thing in being together, when we meet with friends and go to parties, and that actually goes for both adults and adolescents,” she said. “At the same time we drink a lot, we binge drink.” 
She said that Denmark was also unusual in Europe for allowing those as young as 16 to buy alcohol, and in having relatively low prices for alcohol, compared to its Nordic neighbours at least. 
The Danish Institute of Public Health drew attention to the study, in a press release posted to its website.