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Alcohol ads ban: nearly 100 websites closed in Kazakhstan

27 march 2014, 20:31

92 foreign websites have been banned by Kazakhstan courts for advertising alcohol. The legal proceedings were initiated by Almaty prosecutors, Tengrinews reports.

Advertising of alcohol (ethyl alcohol in particular) is prohibited  in Kazakhstan by the Media Law. The ban is not new, it was introduced into the law back in January 2004, but monitoring Internet has always been harder than spotting outdoor ads breaking the law. 

These websites were discovered during an anti-alcohol-advertisement Internet monitoring camapign of the Prosecutor's Office.

Since the webisted are hosted abroad, the Kazakhstan court orders cannot shut them down. However, local Internet providers and fully capable of acting of the courts' rulings and banning access from Kazakhstan to the said websites. 

Kazakhstan is planning to take an even firmer stand against alcohol advertisement. In the end of February a member of the Majilis (Lower Chamber of the Parliament) Tanirbergen Berdongarov proposed to prohibit advertisement of alcohol free beer in the media, because the companies making alcohol beverages are using it as a loophole in the legislation to advertise their brands.

"We have ads showing beer bottles everywhere. And they all look the same at the bottles containing beer that does contain alcohol. Adnd those semitransparent lettering saying 'alcohol free' do not change things much. Attractive ads provoke many young people into starting to drink beer," the MP said.

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