Trade Group Transparency

from New York Times: The trade organization for the liquor industry is for the first time offering the public a look behind the scenes at how it handles complaints about advertising, like the one for a vodka that declared, “Remember: Tonight is only a success if it ends with breakfast.”
Three Olives Cherry Vodka giving ’em something to complain about.
The organization, known as the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, plans to release today a report reviewing the rulings made by its code review board in the last year. Under what the council calls its code of responsible practices, the board is charged, as part of a self-regulatory process, with reviewing and ruling on criticism of the content of liquor ads.
A major goal of the council in ending its secrecy is to demonstrate that self-regulation works – the better to forestall intervention by outside regulators like the Federal Trade Commission. In responding to its critics, the commission has called on liquor marketers in recent years to sharpen their scrutiny of ads to avoid appeals to anyone under the legal drinking age.
Although the board has been making such decisions for decades, the council had not previously shared information with anyone other than the complainants and their targets. Now, the decisions will be available in printed form as well as online at



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.