Is "Please drink responsibly" a law?
August 3, 2005 12:23 PM   Subscribe

Is the "Please drink responsibly" tagline that now suffixes beer/liquor ads the result of a law, or just a voluntary trend?
posted by tweebiscuit to Media & Arts (5 answers total)
No, not a law but as a way to prevent further litigation, which really shows you how stupid moral litigation is. The liquor industry has just begun to put the ads on the air (after a voluntary ban of nearly all TVs existence) and I'm sure they're expecting the usual prohibitionist backlash.

As an aside, what would be interesting is if this was a law. I would see it as nearly impossible to enforce as a lot of advertising is going non-traditional, such as product placement.
posted by geoff. at 12:38 PM on August 3, 2005

AFAIK, it's to prevent those who might sue the beer/liquor company from claiming that the company encourages drunkenness by advertising its product.
posted by winston at 1:32 PM on August 3, 2005

As geoff says, it's not the law, but rather the manufacturers honest desire to promote responsible drinking. Some beer manufacturers even have entire spots dedicated to the designated driver/don't let your drunk friend drive home. The beer business is a flat, mature business so brewers need to keep their customers any way they can.
posted by Eekacat at 2:08 PM on August 3, 2005

Best answer: I've written the packaging copy for a major beer brand multiple times. There was no mention of responsibility in the creative brief, but I did throw it in in a few versions 1) to feel better about myself 2) to make my client seem like they care about customers 3) to serve as a punchline for some of the versions I wrote about.

We do similar stuff with recycling, etc. They don't ask us to do it, but it's pretty hard to say, "And cut that responsibility stuff out."

Some advertising lines could be agreement from wine & spirit boards or National Advertising Review Council (they do a lot of things to keep regulators off their backs, so they're extremely self-policing).

[I've noticed that casinos are starting to include responsible gambling statements as well. Perhaps the world could just come with a disclaimer one of these days.]
posted by Gucky at 3:22 PM on August 3, 2005

Best answer: Way completely voluntary and mostly a CYA measure both on the lawsuit angle and on the continuing fight behind progressive prohibition.

The biggest fear for the big breweries right now (aside from staunching the bleeding to distillers and vintners) is the same kind of increased moral and health regulation that surrounds tobacco. Since the breweries themselves don't generally contribute money to MADD (like the distillers, do) they need to make sure there are pre-existing PR efforts in place to show their efforts to stem a perceived problem. (A laughable problem of course given the relative per captia consumption figures for this country currently as opposed to the past)

On the positive side of the ledger for beer fans though is the passing of the Pop The Cap effort in North Carolina, which opens the state's cap on alcohol levels in beer from 6% to 15%. This is a move that should help the nascent NC microbrew scene.
posted by drewbage1847 at 3:36 PM on August 3, 2005

« Older Wifi in Wildwood New Jersey?   |   How to start dating again after a broken... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.