Alcohol Ads to be checked again by the Federal Trade Commission

Alcohol Ads to be checked again by the Federal Trade Commission

03/17/2011

The Federal Trade Commission, for the fourth time in twelve years, again plans to study the efficacy of the voluntary guidelines that are being followed by a lot of marketers of alcoholic beverages.

The primary intention of the guidelines is to reduce the exposure of those under the legal drinking age to alcohol advertisements.

The commission is likely to explore advertisements in social media, which was nonexistent, or used to be negligible, when the study was conducted years ago.

The initial step will be to gather information from companies that sell beer, wine, as well as distilled spirits.

The commission will also look for data on topics, such as how the industry complies with the self-regulatory process in various areas like ad placement. The commission will also check how these companies try to avoid collecting data from persons under the age of 21.

The industry has a self-regulatory procedure for its advertising and market practices which is separate from the method followed by makers of other products. The latter utilizes a system that is under the guidance of the Council of Better Business Bureaus in resolving complaints against ads.

An important aspect of the process, which is followed by the marketers of alcoholic beverages, is a rule that ads should only run in media outlets certifying that 70% or more of their viewers or readers are 21 years old and above.

The last time that the commission examined the self-regulation was in 2008 when it reported that around 97% of what it called “total alcohol advertising impressions” came from advertisements that met the 70% target.

WRITTEN BY:

blakeh@wellsdrew.com