Did You Know: Beer & TV Ads

Cheers to the New Year, everyone! Now that I am done with pregnancy and breastfeeding, I am allowing myself a drink here and there and of course on special occasions such as welcoming 2016. I learned something about beer and TV earlier in 2015 and I am finally getting to share it with you.

This may be old news to many, but apparently you cannot drink beer (or any alcohol for that matter) in a TV commercial. If you are like me and have not heard this before, you are probably saying “Nu-uh, I just saw a Bud Light commercial and there was tons of beer drinking going on.” Well, I encourage you to re-watch that commercial, or any other alcohol TV ad, and see if anyone actually consumes the advertised product.

Many have stated (and what I was told initially) that there is a law prohibiting drinking in television commercials. That is false. One cannot, however, consume alcohol in them. Apparently it is a National Association of Broadcasters code. The FCC’s Public and Broadcasting Guide simply states “Congress has not enacted any law prohibiting broadcast advertising of any kind of alcoholic beverage, and the FCC does not have a rule or policy regulating such advertisements.” Other self-regulatory bodies have their own code of practices, such as the Beer Institute, noting that ads should not be targeted to minors, should not encourage irresponsible drinking, etc. NAB has the only regulation about consuming alcohol in TV commercials and it is obeyed.

If you want some more information, check out this newscast reporting on the question “Drink Beer on Camera?”.