Alcohol Beverage Advertising

Advertisement Definition

TTB regulations define the term "advertisement" as any written or verbal statement, illustration, or depiction which is in, or calculated to induce sales in, interstate or foreign commerce, or is disseminated by mail. Examples include ads in newspapers or magazines, trade booklets, menus, wine cards, leaflets, circulars, mailers, book inserts, catalogs, promotional materials, or sales pamphlets. The definition includes any written, printed, graphic, or other matter accompanying the container; markings on cases, billboards signs, or other outdoor display; and broadcasts made via radio, television, or in any other media. Though not specifically listed, this definition includes websites and other Internet-based advertising such as social media.

Beverage Alcohol Advertisements

The Federal Alcohol Administration Act does not require alcohol beverage advertisements to be approved prior to appearing in print or broadcast. TTB does, however, offer industry members, free of charge, a voluntary advertising pre-clearance service.

Monitoring Advertisements in the Marketplace

TTB monitors the advertising of alcohol beverages through a combination of -

  • referrals and complaints about specific alcohol beverage advertisements,
  • industry member requests for advertising pre-clearance, and
  • internal selections of advertisements for review.

Prohibited Advertising Practices

Learn more about the advertising regulations listed in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) for: wine (27 CFR Part 4), distilled spirits (27 CFR Part 5), and malt beverages (27 CFR Part 7).

Generally, these regulations prohibit:

  • Statements that are false or untrue
  • Statements that are inconsistent with approved product labels
  • False or misleading statements that are disparaging or a competitor's product
  • Health-related statements that are false or misleading
  • Misleading guarantees (money back guarantees are not prohibited)

For a complete listing of prohibited practices, please see -

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For more information about advertising, contact our Advertising, Labeling and Formulation Division at 202-453-2250 or toll free at 866-927-ALFD (2533), or by email at See our customer service desk information page for more contact information.


Page last reviewed: January 14, 2015
Page last updated: December 6, 2016
Maintained by: Advertising, Labeling and Formulation Division

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