Removal of alcohol logos from shop signs to hit Turkish vendors in pocket
ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Bendevi Palandöken, top representitive for craftsmen and tradesmen in Turkey, said the cost of changing signboards will be between 3,000 to 5,000 liras.Turkish restaurant and shop owners are worried about the potential cost of a recent regulation that requires the removal of alcoholic beverage brand logos from signboards, a prominent sector representative said.
“This regulation [changing of signboards with alcohol logos on them] will cost shop owners dearly,” the head of the Confederation of Turkish Craftsmen and Tradesmen (TESK), Bendevi Palandökeni told the Hürriyet Daily News in a phone interview.
The Turkish government adopted a bill in May to ban alcohol advertising and stop shops from selling alcohol from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. According to the bill, all liquor bottles sold will have to display warning labels about the harms of alcohol while alcohol companies will no longer be allowed to promote their brands and logos in Turkey within 10 months.
“As advertisements worth quadrillions of Turkish Liras are at issue, and the cheapest signboards are 3,000 liras – costing up to 5,000 liras – shopkeepers can’t handle this financial burden on their own” he said, voicing the concerns of the owners of 200,000 restaurants and corner stores that will be affected by the law.
The sponsorship deals inked with alcoholic beverage companies usually include paying for the signboard lighting expenses, so electricity costs will emerge as another burden.
Sales to drop
Palandöken said restaurant, cafe or store owners would be willing to cooperate with the government and did not insist on keeping the logos, but complained about the time given being too short.
Retailers have been given a September deadline to complete the necessary transition on the signboards as well as their internal design.
“We’ve talked with several government ministries, parties and representatives for an extension of the deadline at least to the new year. Now, we’re waiting,” he said.
Palandöken said the signboard costs would be harder to finance as small shop owners would already be financially
hit by the limitations on their sales, considering that evening hours were peak hours for alcohol purchases.
The ban on alcohol sales times has already prompted several local and international spirits makers present in Turkey to worry. Diageo, the purchaser of local company Mey Icki in 2011, had said after the adoption of the ban in May that cooperation between government, industry and interest groups was a better way to tackle alcohol abuse.