Thai Government Debates Alcohol Advertising, Sales Hours

National—

On January 10th, 2024, Mr. Thaophiphob Limchitrakorn, Bangkok MP from the Move Forward Party, proposed reconsideration of a stricter Alcohol Control bill regarding advertising alcoholic products during a recent parliamentary meeting.

There were three drafts of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Act being debated including two drafts from the public sector and the draft of Mr. Thaophiphob Limchitrakorn, Bangkok MP from the Move Forward Party.

The first draft, titled Article 32 on advertising and supported by various anti-alcohol groups, would strengthen current rules and amend the law to completely prohibit the use of logos resembling alcoholic beverage logos on soft drinks, water, and other beverages. This means that advertising for certain brands of non-alcoholic beverages, such as soda and water, with logos resembling alcoholic beverages, would be considered a violation, said Thaophiphob.

As an example, were this bill to pass, Chang or Singha, etc. couldn’t use the same logo used for alcohol products on non-alcohol products to advertise or sponsor events.

Thaophiphob suggested an alternative in the second draft, allowing advertising but within reason, aiming to address the concerns of ordinary individuals who should be allowed to post or advertise beer without facing imprisonment or a fine of 50,000 baht, just for posting a beer picture on social media.

The current fine for advertising alcoholic products by ordinary individuals is more expensive than the fine for drinking and driving, remarked Thaophiphob. He also pointed out that if the alcohol market such as craft beer is further opened, as proposals are in process, how any of the new small startups could tell legal adult customers about their products if they were not allowed to even make a single post about it.

Thaophiphob also proposed in the second draft to lift the ban on selling alcohol during certain periods in Thailand. In some countries, limiting selling hours is not related to controlling alcoholic beverages; it results in increased consumption and drunkenness, said Thaophiphob. As an example, this would drop the highly unpopular 2 PM to 5 PM ban on selling alcohol.

However, it was not mentioned during the parliamentary meeting regarding any potential of lifting the ban on selling alcohol on religious holidays, noted TPN.

After allowing members of Parliament to express their opinions, the majority agreed to loosen the strictness of alcoholic beverage control. The meeting agreed with 257 in favor, 156 against, and 7 abstentions, deciding to send the draft Alcohol Control Act back to the Cabinet for further consideration within 60 days before presenting it for another parliamentary vote.

Although the draft is still in proposal status, this is a good sign for those who hope advertising rules for alcohol will be loosened and certain times banning the sale of alcohol will be lifted.

This article originally appeared on our sister website The Pattaya News.

Kittisak Phalaharn
Kittisak has a passion for outgoings no matter how tough it will be, he will travel with an adventurous style. As for his interests in fantasy, detective genres in novels and sports science books are parts of his soul. He works for Pattaya News as the latest writer.