ALCOHOL LAW ADVISOR
ALCOHOL LAW ADVISOR
Regulatory and Distribution Law Updates for the Alcohol Industry
ALCOHOL LAW ADVISOR
Regulatory and Distribution Law Updates for the Alcohol Industry
Alcohol advertising
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Eighth Circuit Hints at Unconstitutionality of Missouri Restrictions on Alcohol Advertising

Last week, the US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit weighed in on the legality of restrictions on alcohol advertising under the First Amendment, issuing an opinion in Missouri Broadcasters Association v. Lacy that could eventually broaden free speech protections for alcohol beverage advertisements. After the lower court granted defendants’ motion to dismiss and plaintiffs appealed, the Eighth Circuit reversed the district court’s dismissal, finding that plaintiffs’ claim alleging the unconstitutionality of a Missouri statute and two regulations should be heard. The case concerned three Missouri provisions – two regulations and a statute – that restrict the advertising of alcohol beverages: a regulation prohibiting retailers from advertising price discounts outside of the licensed premises (but allowing the advertising of discounts by using generic descriptions (e.g., “Happy Hour”), as well as the advertising of specific discounts within the licensed...

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Alcohol Advertising in Digital Media, Part 2: Federal Regulation

This past year brought examples of federal regulation and oversight of social media.  Both illustrate the general policy concerns of federal agencies that regulate alcohol beverage advertising. TTB Industry Circular 2013-1, reviews the application of TTB regulations to beer, wine and spirits advertising in social media and other forms of digital advertising.  TTB’s primary concerns are the clear disclosure of the company responsible for an advertisement and prohibiting communication of false and misleading information.   The circular makes clear that TTB’s advertising regulations apply to digital advertising, including user-generated content.  Helpful references are provided to key sections of TTB advertising regulations for beer, wine and spirits. FTC 2012 Special Order (FTC Matter No. P104518) requested a broad range of information on advertising expenditures and practices from companies in the alcohol beverage industry to make sure that they comply with...

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Alcohol Advertising in Digital Media, Part 1: Overview

Tremendous opportunities exist for advertising brands, events and other promotional activities in digital media, which includes traditional web sites, social networks and integrated advertising platforms.  Properly executed marketing efforts provide great flexibility to reach and interact with adults of legal drinking age on a range of devices.  “Properly executed” is the key, particularly in digital media where campaigns can go from the conceptual stage to dissemination to millions of consumers in a matter of days. Many professionals in the rapidly evolving media landscape grew up in a culture of free expression unparalleled in human history and several generations removed from the post- Prohibition mindset that inspired existing restrictions on alcohol advertising.  Those who are anxious to use their creative talents in alcohol beverage advertising campaigns must become familiar with unique federal and state laws governing alcohol advertising as well as...

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