Minister of Information Neth Pheaktra has established three measures to regulate the advertising of alcoholic beverages, in order to protect social order and reduce the social harm caused by these products.

The new guidelines were introduced during a March 4 meeting with the representatives of several major alcohol producers, wholesalers and advertisers at the ministry headquarters.

According to the ministry’s statement following the meeting, the three guidelines aimed to improve public order by limiting images which affect social values and morality.

“First, stop instructing people to drink beer and other alcohol on music stages or in boxing rings. Second, when a host is an influential media personality, they should not open and consume these drinks during live broadcasts,” Pheaktra was quoted as saying.

The third guideline instructed advertisers to include educational slogans, such as “Drink responsibly” or “If you drink, do not drive”, in order to balance advertising messages.

“We must work together to control the way alcohol is advertised, so we can reduce risks and increase social harmony,” he said.

He instructed all breweries and advertisers to implement each of the relevant regulations and laws in force.

During the meeting, Pheaktra also announced that a joint working group composed of public and private institutions will be established to facilitate broader discussions and devise commercial regulations which are ethical and in accordance with the law.

Several representatives of alcohol producers and advertisers who attended the meeting expressed their support for the new measures, according to the statement.

Kong Sovann, founder and adviser of road safety NGO CamSafe, backed the new measures, suggesting that they are in response to Prime Minister Hun Manet’s recent calls for a review of alcohol advertisements and product placement.

“I think this is a temporary response to regulate the advertising of alcohol, while the government works to accelerate the drafting of an alcohol control law, which will restrict the way these products are sold to the public,” he said.

He stressed that excess alcohol consumption not only causes many traffic accidents, but also leads to an increased risk of more than 200 kinds of disease.

He called for a speedy passage of the alcohol law, saying it would be effective in reducing the road toll.

According to the transport ministry’s Department of Road Safety, 2023 saw more than 3,000 road accidents nationwide, a slight increase over the 2,970 recorded the previous year. Many of the accidents were the result of driving under the influence of alcohol.