The drinks industry spent some 28.2m Swedish crowns (US$3.5m) on alcohol advertising in Sweden in the first half of 2003, according to figures in the Swedish press today from the polling institute Sifo. The figure amounts to a 300% year-on-year increase.

The period in question saw a lifting by the Swedish parliament on the ban on alcohol advertising in newspapers. However, in April, a ban was re-imposed on alcoholic drinks over 15% abv.

Meanwhile, at the same time the country's alcohol sales at the retail monopoly Systembolaget rose by 4.7%. While wine sales rose 6.3% compared to the same period last year, sales of alcohol stronger than 15% fell by 1.7%.

Despite the advertising in newspapers, the amount of money spent on alcohol advertising in Sweden still corresponds to only 1.5% of the total sum spent on advertising of food products, the report said.