Tami

Is it legal for distillers to mention liquor store tastings on social media?

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I have used social media to let folks know to come have a taste with us at a liquor store tasting. Though now I've been advised that might be illegal. Anyone know? How about in an email to our mailing list?

Thanks!

Tami

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Yes, it is my understanding that we're not allowed to advertise for on or off premise liquor licensees. The LCB considers the use of social media in this way as advertising.

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I have used social media to let folks know to come have a taste with us at a liquor store tasting. Though now I've been advised that might be illegal. Anyone know? How about in an email to our mailing list?

Thanks!

Tami

Hi Tami,

In a nutshell, the answer is no. But there are ways to make mentions if what you write can't be construed as advertising for a particular company. Here's a link to everything you should know about the rules for using Social Media, at least from the TTB's perspective.

TTB Industry Circular on use of Social Media

See you in cyberspace!

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We're in dire need of a complete overhaul of our state's liquor laws (and taxes). They may have made sense in the 1930s, but I'm pretty sure no one back then imagined social media. Is there any other industry where laws intentionally make it difficult to promote one's business?

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Thanks, Niloufar!

Jason and Steven provided accurate information. According to TTB, "advertisement

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Thanks, Niloufar!

I'm having a hard time finding the WSLCB rule that states no advertising of free tastings. I'm just trying to understand it better.

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Perhaps this should be addressed as a legislative issue for the upcoming session? It's a silly rule and might be an easy win to get in our column. Not to mention VERY beneficial to EVERY distiller in the state.

Thoughts?

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Perhaps this should be addressed as a legislative issue for the upcoming session? It's a silly rule and might be an easy win to get in our column. Not to mention VERY beneficial to EVERY distiller in the state.

Thoughts?

I agree with John! It would be a huge boost to advertising our products.

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Perhaps this should be addressed as a legislative issue for the upcoming session? It's a silly rule and might be an easy win to get in our column. Not to mention VERY beneficial to EVERY distiller in the state.

Thoughts?

Careful here everyone. This law is in place to protect us from pay to play games that might otherwise be taking place in the market. If bars/restaurants/retailers could take value in advertising from us (read that as $), how quickly might that get turned around to where getting on the shelf would mean you were REQUIRED to give them a pay out (slotting fee). Obviously, big corporations with larger advertising budgets could conceivably lock us out of markets.

But, it's not impossible to have our cake and eat it too. Maybe we could make a change that allowed for social media to be used only by Washington based distilleries. :)

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