Posts Tagged: Advertising

Social Media is an (age) gated community

Few brewers would dream of serving someone in their brewery or tasting room without checking an ID to ensure that all the craft beer lovers in the room are of legal drinking age.  When it comes to their virtual breweries and tasting rooms, however, there appears to be a bit of laxness in ensuring that everyone is age appropriate.   The problem with ignoring the age of virtual visitors is that Marketing and Advertising Codes issued by industry associations require age gates for websites and on social media. Age gates are also recommended by the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”).

Most craft breweries have age gates on their websites, but many are ineffective and fail to meet the Marketing and Advertising Code or the FTC’s recommendations.  There are, with some variations, three basic types of age gates for websites.  First, there are what I would call passive age gates.  These simply state that by viewing the website the viewer agrees or acknowledges that he or she is 21 or older.  It is often at the bottom of the page or another location where it is easily missed or ignored.  Second, are age gates that require some interaction, but nothing more than a simple click.  These have a popup or landing page that ask whether the viewer is at least 21, requiring the user to click on “yes” or “no” to enter the website.  Obviously, if the viewer wants to get into the website, he or she will click yes regardless of age. Third, are age gates that actually require the underage user to do some math to gain entry.  While a diligent viewer will figure it out, these age gates require a bit more of the user than simply opening the webpage or clicking “yes.”  Instead, the user is required to enter his or her date of birth – and that date of birth must be at least 21 years earlier – before gaining access to the website. (more…)

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Brewers Association Marketing and Advertising Code Update: A beer by any other name doth taste as hoppy

Coming up with the recipe for your new brew is only half the battle, you also have to come up with a creative name and label. While we’ve discussed protecting your brand through trademarks in previous posts, brewers should also be aware of the revised Brewers Association Marketing and Advertising Code. In an article for Craft Brewing Business, attorney Jonathan Dunitz discusses recent amendments to the Code that aim to avoid the use of potentially offensive names and labels and advance the Association’s goal of increasing diversity in the craft beer industry. While the Code’s limitations on offensive content are new, the issue dates back much further with varying viewpoints on the issue. (more…)

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Deceptive Marketing Lawsuits Against Alcoholic Beverage Industry on the Rise

The number of lawsuits against alcoholic beverage manufacturers for alleged deceptive marketing grew again this past December, with both Guinness and Foster’s Beer facing new lawsuits in federal court. In Massachusetts, a consumer filed suit against Guinness alleging that the company improperly advertised that “all Extra Stout sold in North America is brewed in Ireland at historic St. James’ Gate Brewery in Dublin.”

In New York, a consumer filed a suit alleging that Foster’s marketing implied that the beer was brewed in Australia, based on its advertisements that featured actors with Australian accents and its slogans “Foster’s, Australian for Beer” and “How to Speak Australian.” Foster’s moved its brewing operations to Fort Worth, Texas in 2011, and a “misled” consumer is seeking compensation from Foster’s. (more…)

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