How to Advertise Correctly: Q & A

Breweries want to advertise their products and their beer. There is a correct way to advertise products and a-not-so-legal way to promote your business and beer.

Check out the FAQs surrounding advertising. A PDF was created by the NC ABC.

Can I place a dry erase board outside my business to advertise beer or wine available in my establishment?

No; retail permittees cannot advertise malt beverages or wine products or the availability of alcoholic beverages by means of a billboard or outdoor sign except as provided in this section must be attached to the building on the licensed premises. See ABC Rule 2S.1008(b)(1)(a) and (b)(1)(b). That also generally means you cannot advertise the price of alcohol on the outside of the building.[1]

What is point-of-sale advertising?

Point-of-sale is advertising that is located inside and on the premises where the product is displayed or sold. This does not include consumer or retailer specialty items or novelties. See ABC Rule 2S. 1001(9).

Point-of-sale advertising is advertising materials such as signs, posters, banners, and decoration that bears conspicuous and substantial product advertising material and is designed and intended to be used inside a retailer’s licensed premises where alcoholic beverage products are displayed and sold. See ABC Rule 2T.0702(2).

Can I place a menu in my window for patrons to see, even though it lists alcoholic drinks available?

Yes, the placement in a window or on the exterior of the retailer’s building or a food menu that also contains a list of alcoholic beverages by brand and price is NOT violation of Rule 2S.1008(b)(1)(d).

What malt beverages, wine, or spirituous liquor can I display in my window to advertise?

You can display a reasonable number of malt beverage or wine products in a window display. See Rule 2S.1008(a)(5).

Although, a mixed beverage permittee cannot place liquor containers in a window display. See Rule 2S.1010(a)(6).

Can a malt beverage or wine industry member come to my business and hand out samples of their alcoholic beverage?

Yes, an industry member can visit the premises of an on-premise retail account for the purpose of promoting its brand as long as:

  1. The visit is unannounced and not advertised;
  2. A patron that refuses the industry member’s offer to consume a product is offered a comparable beverage of her choice, either alcoholic or non-alcoholic.

See ABC Rule 2T.0712(9)

What are the rules regarding media advertising of malt beverages or wine?

A retail malt beverage, wine, or mixed beverage permittee may advertise price and brand of malt beverage and wine products offered for sale by means of circular, newspaper, magazine, radio, television, and Internet. See ABC Rule 2S.1008(d).

We are having a special event in our town, and I will not have enough storage for the malt beverage that I wish to purchase. Can an industry member loan me or let me rent a refrigerated vehicle in order to keep the amount I will need cold?

No, see ABC Rule 2T.0711(b). The following services shall not be furnished, given, provided or made available to a retail permittee by an industry member, even if the retailer is charged or billed for the services for their market value.

Contact us!

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to email me at john@beerlawcenter.com or call 919-335-5291.

Be sure to check out Beer Law Center and Matheson Law Office for all things NC legal.

Contact the NC ABC Commission

400 East Tryon Road

Raleigh, NC 27610

919-779-0700

NC ABC

 

[1] In fact, there are stories about local law enforcement cruising the streets looking for bars to cite. Generally in spring time when the weather is nice and people are advertising outdoor seating with “sandwich board signs.”

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