Norway's alcohol advertising ban has been undermined by a European Free Trade Area (EFTA) Court ruling. The ruling says that the Norwegian Alcohol Act illegally breaks trade freedom rules of the European Economic Area (EEA) agreement.

The act could be justified only, said the ruling, "where the protection of public health against the harmful effects of alcohol can be secured by measures having less effect on intra-EEA trade".

Importantly, the court ruled that in this case, the Norwegian government could not rely "on the precautionary principle" to justify its ban. The EEA imposes many European Union (EU) rules member countries, such as Norway.