The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS), which represents nearly 80% of all liquor brands sold in the United States and is the primary lobbying arm for the liquor industry, recently revised its Code of Responsible Practices to clarify an advertising restriction placed on its members. Six years ago, DISCUS announced that its members may advertise on a radio station only if at least 70% of the station's audience is of legal drinking age. That significantly raised the prior threshold of 51%. DISCUS, however, did not specify how to calculate the 70%. Now, DISCUS has stated that the age of a station's listeners should be determined by referring to the narrowest Arbitron daypart, not the station's overall average.
This revision went into effect in January and tightens the advertising restrictions placed on DISCUS members, who collectively market over 2,800 brands of alcoholic beverages in the United States. The industry's attempts at self-regulation as concerns liquor advertising appear to be effective, as evidenced by a recent Federal Trade Commission report stating that 92% of liquor advertisements meet DISCUS' voluntary standards.
The DISCUS clarification statement is available here.
The Federal Trade Commission report is available here.