Alcohol marketing capitalizes on the four Ps of marketing to the utmost; however, there are rules and regulations that alcohol marketing must adhere to.
As a product, alcohol is widely accepted socially, reasonably cheap, easily accessible, and a legal mind-altering substance. Many adults (and some adolescents) will have drunk alcohol at some point in their lives. Due to its wide acceptance, and large consumer base, alcohol marketing is a very important tool for alcohol companies to utilize. These advertisements can range from TV commercials, newspaper print ads, magazine ads, and even digitally promoted ads on social media platforms. In fact, according to a Business Insider article written by Seth Archer, the alcoholic-beverage industry spends up to $421 million dollars in advertising, and 89% of those advertising dollars go directly into television ads! Additionally, the increase in spending may be attributed to a more competitive environment, according to Nicholson (an analysts at Citi), and she believes that this trend of increased alcohol marketing spending will only continue as sales in the industry grow. However, there are certain rules and regulations that alcohol marketing must follow; after all, it is a mind-altering substance that is illegal to individuals under the legal drinking age!
The Rules and Regulations of Alcohol Marketing:
A lot of the rules and regulations that surround alcohol marketing are self-imposed and voluntary on the federal level; although, different states may have particular rules. As a rule, the majority of the regulation of alcohol marketing surrounds underage drinking and the illegality of marketing alcohol to individuals who are unable to legally drink it. Generally, there are standards for alcohol marketing which are designed to discourage underage drinking based on content or ad placement. The majority of alcohol advertisers agree to not target ads towards underage consumers! These limits on alcohol marketing are, in fact, one of the few things that the federal government can regulate in regards to advertising. This is due to the fact that freedom of speech is difficult to govern and regulate, and this can limit the extent to which the federal government can interfere. Although, one general rule of thumb is that alcohol marketing must be without deception and must provide adequate information about the product’s identity for the consumer’s benefit, which allows them to make educated decisions about the product. Some alcohol marketing practices that are prohibited include:
1. Deceitful statements!
2. Saying disparaging or negative things about competitors!
3. Indecent designs, representations, or statements!
4. Misrepresenting analyses, standards, or tests!
5. Misleading guarantees!
6. Statements that falsely herald health benefits of alcohol!
7. Claims that alcohol is made, sold, or marketed under federal or state regulation!
8. Claims that malt or wine beverages contain distilled spirits!
9. Statements about distilled spirits being more distilled unless they really are!
10. The word pure when advertising distilled spirits (unless it is referring to a specific ingredient)!
11. Statements that aren’t consistent with approved labeling!
12. Words that insinuate that alcohol is made under government supervision!
Follow these rules, and alcohol marketing will have no issues in the public sphere!
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