Updated Alcohol Advertising Code

The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS), which represents the major distillers in the country, has recently strengthened its advertising code to meet not only public concerns but also other changes in society and communication technology.

Key changes to strengthen the Code include

  • Detailed product placement guidelines for music videos and video games in addition to movies and television;
  • The prohibition of supplier-sponsored promotions in drinking establishments on college and university campuses;
  • The prohibition of any encouragement of drinking games or excessive drinking by supplier-sponsored promotions;
  • The creation of new guidelines for newspaper advertising and more detailed guidelines for radio; and
  • Code compliance seminars for both member and non-member companies of DISCUS.

"These new provisions reflect the spirits industry's continued commitment to responsible advertising," said Dr. Peter Cressy, President of the organization. "As marketing communications evolve, so too does the industry's 74-year old Code."

Each six months, DISCUS publishes and widely distributes a report on alleged violations of its Code, its decisions regarding those allegations, and the actions of those found in violation of the advertising guidelines.



  • Stronger Code. Illinois Beverage Guide, 2009, 9(3), 2 and 4.

Filed Under: Alcohol Advertising