By Amy E. Feldman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Grab a beer. We’ll talk about the laws of alcohol advertising.

It’s almost time to watch the Super Bowl. Ads. Who cares about the game? But a lot of people care about the ads, for which advertisers are paying $4 million for a 30 second spot.

Many people are concerned that the clever alcohol ads will promote underage drinking. So what are the legal limits on alcohol
advertising? There are several federal agencies, like the FTC and the FCC, that have some – but not a lot – of authority over alcohol ads. States may also have some additional regulations. And the networks have their own standards, which many
fear fall by the wayside when advertisers pay $100,000 a second.

Interestingly, the most regulation is self-regulation – the standards created by the alcohol industry trade associations that set standards so the government won’t. Those codes encourage alcohol to be advertised only during programming targeted mostly to adults, prohibit ads to encourage intoxication, promote responsible drinking, and require the models to be at least 25.

Of course the best way to discourage underage drinking is for the people watching the ads not to be drunk while watching with their kids.

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