No More Alcohol Advertising

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Alcohol advertising will be banned in Virginia’s college newspapers. By not promoting alcohol in student newspapers the Virginia's Alcoholic Beverage Control Board hopes to reduce under- age drinking. Controversy has been sparked over the ban, and whether it is unconstitutional for commercial freedom of speech. University of Virginia and Virginia Tech’s student newspapers deemed the ban unconstitutional. The papers said students’ images of drinking and alcohol in the media are readily accessible; therefore the ban is ineffective. On Friday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled that this ban does not violate First Amendment rights. No longer can a print or online advertisement say, "'happy hour' or similar terms." Liquor, beer, and wine, "unless in reference to a dining establishment," even then prices and brands can not be mentioned specifically.


Marcia Moore April 13, 2010 at 8:31 AM  

This is an very ineffective approach. Students are fully aware that alcohol exists! Ads for products and "happy hours" are plastered everywhere on college campuses, so this isn't going to make any difference.

Anonymous,  April 13, 2010 at 8:34 AM  

I think barring the use of the term "happy hour" is particularly concerning. That term can apply to a specific period of time when the establishment runs specials. Those aren't necessarily alcohol specials, but could also include food. Happy hour seems to apply to more than just drinking to me. It's that time of the afternoon when work is over!

Ryan Fuerstenau April 13, 2010 at 10:36 AM  

Alcohol is so engrained in our society that they could ban it in the town the college is located and kids would still drink. I think we all remember prohibition, and we all know how that turned out. people will do whatever thay want. I think by cutting out the alcohol ads the paper is just losing money.

Kari.Ratkovich April 14, 2010 at 6:57 PM  

This is a violation of the First Amendment. If Virginia's alcoholic Beverage Control Board thinks they are going to reduce under age drinking, they are sadly wrong. Chances are, there are 100 times the amount of the college's population on Facebook than those actually reading the college newspaper. Do they not see photos of their friends with a beer in their hand on a daily basis?!

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