IP News brought Into Focus
Issue 2, Volume 2
PUBLICITY OF BEERS AND WINES DECIDED BY BRAZIL’S SUPREME COURT
This year, on April 22, the Brazilian Supreme Federal Court (STF)) ruled the Direct Action of Unconstitutionality by Omission (ADO no. 22) brought by the Office of the General Attorney for the Republic and aiming to prohibit publicity of beers and wines according to Law no. 9,294 of 1996, which limits publicity of alcoholic beverages. Minister Carmen Lúcia voted for the rejection of the pleading under the argument that there was no omission of Law no. 9,294 of 1996 in relation to beverages of low alcoholic level – including beers and wines – because the Congress had comprehensively discussed this specific issue during the legislative process undergone by the corresponding bill. The other Ministers supported Minister Carmen Lúcia’s vote, except for Minister Marco Aurélio who voted to sustain the pleading. The final voting of the judgment resulted in rejection by majority of votes, granting colligation effects to the decision. Consequently, any other legal proceedings in low courts in which the same matter is under discussion will have to apply the decision rendered by the Supreme Court. Accordingly, publicity of beers and wines are now permitted in all media. Notwithstanding that, the provisions of Law no. 9,294 of 1996, which prohibit linking publicity of spirits to sports, healthy living and driving are still applicable to publicity of beers and wines. For beverages of high alcoholic levels there is also the limitation to broadcast TV ads only between 9 PM and 6 AM. The Brazilian Association of the Beer Industry (CERVBRASIL), the Brazilian Association of Psychiatry (ABP) and the Brazilian Association of Radio and Television Broadcasting Companies (ABERT) participated in the judgment hearing in the capacity of amicus curiae.