Beer Ads Have To Play By Updated Rules

I’m so glad they’ve cleared this up. From Ad Age, although it’s a subject that seems ripe for The Onion:

It’s now officially OK to show people drinking and people flirting in beer ads.
The Beer Institute, as part of its move toward industry-self regulation, is modifying its advertising code for the first time since 2003. The changes allow brewers to show drinking and “romantic interactions,” within limits, in advertising. The new code also defines humor, parody and satire for the first time as something “readily identifiable as such by reasonable adults of legal drinking age” and requires brewer audits to assure placements are in media reaching a 70% adult audience.
“Advertising and marketing materials should not depict situations where beer is being consumed rapidly, excessively, involuntarily, as part of a drinking game or as a result of a dare,” the new guideline says.
And while continuing to ban suggestions that sexual conquests could be a result of beer drinking, the code now draws a tighter line. Ads “may contain romantic or flirtatious interactions but should not portray sexually explicit activity as a result of consuming beer,” the code now says, replacing the previous guideline that “beer advertising and marketing materials should not portray sexual passion, promiscuity or any other amorous activity as a result of consuming beer.”

Picture, if you will, an executive boardroom at The Beer Institute, where smartly dressed professionals with legal pads and PowerPoint slides were discussing the Beer Advertising Code. With a straight face.
They must’ve been smoking something.

About Dan Goldgeier

Dan Goldgeier is a Seattle-based freelance copywriter with experience at advertising agencies across the U.S. He is a graduate of the Creative Circus ad school, and currently teaches at Seattle's School of Visual Concepts. Dan is also a columnist for and the author of View From The Cheap Seats and Killer Executions and Scrubbed Decks.