In November, Netflix will start rolling out its new and cheaper ad-supported package “basic with ads” for $6.99, per month. Netflix has decided to exclude certain advertisements, such as gambling ads from this new ad plan.

A group of over 50 signatories representing communities from around the world has sent a letter to the Chairman of Netflix calling on the streaming service to extend the exclusion of advertising to alcohol ads in the new tier.

In addition to not promoting a harmful product that kills 3 million people globally, excluding alcohol ads from Netflix would also make the platform more relatable to people, specifically young people by respecting their values of health, justice, and sustainability.

Netflix has decided to launch a new ad-supported tier for a cheaper price than its ad-free packages. The streaming company plans to exclude several categories of advertisements, including gambling ads on the new tier. Following this news, communities from around the world have issued a call on Netflix to exclude alcohol ads from the new tier considering the harm alcohol marketing causes to individuals, families and societies.

Netflix is set to launch a new ad-supported tier for $6.99 per month. It is much cheaper than current plans without advertisements which range from $9.99 to $19.99. So far Netflix has resisted advertising on its platform. But as competition with other streaming services increases Netflix seems to have finally given in.

The new Netflix ad-supported tier “Basic with ads” is set to launch in Canada and Mexico on November 1, followed by Australia, Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, the U.K., and the U.S. on November 3, and Spain on November 10, this year. Notably ahead of the planned launch of the Disney+ ad-supported tier in December this year.

The new Netflix ad-supported tier is cheaper than those of several competitors. The Disney+ ad plan launching in December and Hulu’s ad plan are both priced 1$ higher at $7.99 per month. Meanwhile, the HBO Max ad plan is priced at $9.99 per month. It’s clear Netflix is trying to gain more subscribers who might be more budget-conscious and also to retain subscribers thinking of leaving the platform due to rising costs of living and inflation.

New Netflix ads-tier will restrict certain ads

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Netflix is planning on restricting certain types of advertisements from its ad-supported tier. Local sources have disclosed to SMH that Netflix decided to reject political, gambling and cryptocurrency advertising and will not advertise to children. Restrictions on pharmaceutical advertisements were also being considered.

Notably, Netflix competitor Disney+ has decided to ban alcohol advertisements on their upcoming ad-supported tier.

Communities from around the world represented by over 60 signatories call on Netflix to exclude alcohol ads

Following the news on Netflix launching its ad-supported tier, over 50 signatories representing communities from around the world have called on Mr. Reed Hastings, the Chairman of Netflix, to exclude alcohol advertising from its ad-supported tier just as it plans to do for gambling.

Movendi International and 40 member and partner organizations from countries around the world with big Netflix markets have endorsed the letter.

Their letter highlights several facts about the harm caused by the alcohol industry:

  • Globally, alcohol is causally linked to over 200 disease and injury conditions.
  • 3 million lives are lost each year due to alcohol.
  • Alcohol consumption during pregnancy causes Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), a lifelong disability.
  • Alcohol marketing is specifically harmful for young people.
    • When young people are exposed to alcohol marketing, they are more likely to start using alcohol at a younger age.
    • They also go on to use alcohol at high-risk levels later in life.
  • Evidence further shows that being exposed to alcohol marketing is harmful for those who are at risk of addiction or those recovering from addiction.
    • Exposure to alcohol marketing also cues alcohol cravings and is known to trigger a desire to use alcohol among people with high-risk alcohol use and for people recovering from alcohol addiction.

The World Health Organization (WHO), recognizing the harm caused by the products and practices of alcohol companies, launched the SAFER initiative. Comprehensive restrictions or bans on alcohol marketing is one of the five evidence-based, effective policy solutions recommended by the WHO in the SAFER package.

The letter commends Netflix for its decision to exclude gambling advertisements and calls on Netflix to exclude alcohol ads as well, considering the grave harm that alcohol marketing is causing to people, communities, and societies worldwide.

With strong evidence showing the link between alcohol advertising and alcohol use and, subsequently, harm, it is imperative that Netflix takes action to ensure that alcohol advertising isn’t a part of the platform,” wrote the signatories in the letter.

Please build on the important step you have taken in regard to gambling advertisements by excluding alcohol from ad- supported Netflix subscriptions.”

Communities from around the world represented by over 60 signatories

Gains for Netflix from excluding alcohol ads

More and more young people all around the world are choosing to stay alcohol-free longer. For example, Movendi International has reported about this trend in Sweden, the United States (U.S.)GermanyScotland and Japan.

Alcohol use is now getting denormalized and being alcohol-free is becoming normalized. With denormalization of alcohol, today’s youth generation is starting to see alcohol use and binging on alcohol as negative, especially for health.

Netflix is a streaming platform that is particularly popular with young people. A survey found that in the U.S. alone around 75% of respondents aged 18 to 34 subscribed to Netflix as of mid-2021. By excluding alcohol advertising Netflix would be expressing respect for the young generation’s values of health, justice, and sustainability that drive the growing alcohol-free trend.

Sobriety is becoming increasingly popular not only among young people. Many different people and communities are becoming sober curious and positive – a trend epxressing itself in the rising popularity of alcohol-free challenges, sober communities in the social media, and growing understanding of the harms caused by an oppressive alcohol norm. The popularity of alcohol-free months, such as Dry January and Sober October, is one concrete example.

The Dry January challenge began in the United Kingdom (UK) and has now spread around the world. Dry January is now taking place in the United States (U.S.)SwitzerlandFrance, and Scandinavian countries.

Many other different groups of people are also prioritizing alcohol-free choices. For instance, one-third of British pub goers are staying sober, people going on dates are prioritizing alcohol-free and sober experiences, and more and more women are becoming aware of the harmful alcohol norms promoted to them through alcohol marketing and many are seeking support to quit or reduce alcohol use.

Therefore, if Netflix decides to exclude alcohol advertisements the company will not only stop promoting a harmful substance. It will also express respect for the values and interests of a large group of their subscribers.


Movendi International: “Call to exclude alcohol advertising from ad-supported Netflix subscriptions” [PDF]

Time: “How Ads on Netflix Will Change the Way You Watch

Sydney Morning Herald: “Netflix with ads is coming this year. Here’s what we know