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Monday, 12 August, 2002, 08:01 GMT 09:01 UK
Norway bans Diageo over vodka promos
Diageo alcopops
Diageo alcopops got into the wrong hands
Norway has temporarily revoked the UK drinks group Diageo's licence to sell alcohol after the firm breached a ban on alcohol promotion.

Diageo drinks brands
Diageo might export its brands to Norway via third parties
The firm, the world's largest spirits company, has been handed a six month ban over promoting an alcopop in breach of Norwegian law.

But Norwegian quaffers of Diageo drinks such J&B whisky, Smirnoff vodka and Baileys will still be able to enjoy their favourite tipple in the run-up to Christmas.

With Diageo itself, rather than its products, banned, the firm believes it will be able to maintain trade by selling to Norway via third parties.

The firm's Guinness stout is already sold to Norway through this means.

Gate crashers

The ban followed a series of trade events where Diageo's Smirnoff Black Ice alcopop was promoted to trade officials.

While trade promotions are legal, events which give access to the general public are not.

Diageo's problem was that people other than industry officials managed to get in to the events.

The fact that outsiders got hold of free promotion material and were allowed to party away at the events made the promotions illegal.

In Norway, spirits, wines and strong beers can only be bought in the Vinmonopolet, or Wine Monopoly, state owned specialist outlets.

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Norwegian health official Gunnellin Beorneboo
"It's prohibited to advertise for alcohol"
See also:

24 Jul 02 | Scotland
21 Feb 02 | Business
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