The San Francisco Board of Supervisors has reportedly voted to repeal an ordinance prohibiting advertisements for sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) on city property in light of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Reed v. Town of Gilbert, Ariz. that struck down a comparable initiative restricting advertising on public property.
The ordinance was one of three passed by the municipal lawmakers in June 2015. The others (i) mandate health warnings on most billboards and ads for SSBs with 25 or more calories and (ii) prevent city departments and contractors from using city funds to purchase SSBs. “We may have lost this particular battle, but the war rages on,” Supervisor Malia Cohen was quoted as saying. “We didn’t take down Big Tobacco overnight—we’re not going to take down Big Soda overnight either.”
The American Beverage Association filed suit against both advertising ordinances on First Amendment grounds, and its challenge of the mandated health warning is pending in federal court. See Courthouse News Service, December 1, 2015; WLF Legal Pulse, December 3, 2015.