Alcohol Beverage Sampling and Advertising Program

Results of the FY 2008 Alcohol Beverage Sampling Program for Distilled Spirits

Label Compliance

  • We estimate that 88 percent (±4 percent) of all distilled spirits labels in the marketplace are in compliance with Federal alcohol beverage laws and regulations.

Findings:

  • Reasons for non-compliance included:
    • Back and neck labels that were different from approved COLAs.
    • Statements of composition that did not match approved COLAs.
    • Net contents were not blown into bottle as indicated on the approved COLA application.
    • Legibility issues.

Product Label versus Content Compliance

  • We estimate that 62 percent (±6 percent) of distilled spirits products in the marketplace are in compliance with Federal alcohol beverage laws and regulations for distilled spirits.
  • 95 percent of the samples' content violations were the result of the sample being either over-proof or under-proof beyond established tolerance levels when compared to the proof statement on the product’s label.
  • The rate of marketplace compliance with Federal alcohol beverage laws and regulations for distilled spirits products regarding product content matching the labeled description is 98 percent, excluding minor proofing issues.

Findings:

  • The alcohol content statement was the most common reason for distilled spirits products’ contents differing from what was stated on the label.
  • Only two distilled spirits products were found to be under-proof and should have been labeled "diluted."

Overall Findings

  • We found that imported distilled spirits beverage products were just as likely as domestic products to be found compliant in both labeling and lab-tested content.
  • We estimate the overall compliance rate for distilled spirits product labels together with the compliance rate for consistency between the content and the label is 54 percent (± 6 percent).
  • Out of all the noncompliant samples, the vast majority (86 percent) was noncompliant due to contents not matching label description; most frequently the alcohol content statements did not match.

The overall compliance rate for distilled spirits product labels together with the compliance rate for consistency between the content and the label, excluding samples with inaccurate proof statements is 87 percent (± 2 percent).

 

Results of the FY 2008 Alcohol Beverage Advertising Program for Distilled Spirits Products

  • The compliance rate for all distilled spirits advertisements with Federal alcohol beverage advertising laws and regulations is 82 percent (±4 percent).

Findings:

  • The top reasons for noncompliance of ads are:
    • No alcohol content statement for the advertised beverage (45 percent of noncompliant ads); and
    • No name or address for the responsible advertiser (58 percent of noncompliant ads).
  • In each media type, the top reasons for noncompliance of ads were:
    • No commodity statement ("Distilled from…") in radio ads;
    • No class or type statement in internet ads;
    • No alcohol content statement in radio and internet ads; and
    • No name or address for the responsible advertiser in radio, internet, and print ads.

All marketplace compliance rates are calculated with 95 percent confidence.

Page last reviewed/updated: 01/22/2015

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