Turkish liquor stores find solution as deadline looms for alcohol logos on shop signs
Burak Coşan HÜRRİYET / ISTANBUL
Many shop owners are preparing to only remove the alcoholic brand logos and keep the colors that remind customers of alcoholic brands.The June 11 deadline to remove signs bearing the logos and names of alcoholic drinks is fast approaching for Turkish shopkeepers and restaurant owners.
The new regulation is part of the alcohol law that entered into force last year, which banned the sale of alcohol after 10 p.m. and increased taxes on alcoholic beverages.
After June 11, shops and restaurants will be banned from displaying the signs of alcoholic beverage companies, removing another possible source of revenue. Many alcohol companies make deals with shops to pay for signboard costs in exchange for their advertisement. Alcohol advertising was banned in Turkey last year, and shops are now also required to hide alcoholic drinks from their windows.
“It’s alcoholic drink firms that have renewed our shop signs. Without logos, even tourists won’t want to enter the shops. Before, they would come and do their shopping here when they saw famous brands on the signs,” said Yusuf Deniz, a retailer who has been working in Istanbul for 22 years.
The latest measure affects around 250,000 retailers across Turkey. They were initially given a September 2013 deadline to complete the signboard transition, but this period was prolonged following difficulties in implementation.
To get around the regulation, many shop owners are planning to only remove the alcoholic brand logos and will keep the colors and lines that remind customers of them.
The ban on alcohol sales times had prompted debate last spring, with several local and international spirits makers operating in Turkey voicing their worries against the government’s moves.