Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission
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CODE FOR BROADCAST ADVERTISING OF ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES

1 August 1996

Commercial messages for alcoholic beverages shall not:

(a) attempt to influence non-drinkers of any age to drink or to purchase alcoholic beverages;

(b) be directed at persons under the legal drinking age, associate any such product with youth or youth symbols, or portray persons under the legal drinking age or persons who could reasonably be mistaken for such persons in a context where any such product is being shown or promoted;

(c) portray the product in the context of, or in relation to, an activity attractive primarily to people under the legal drinking age;

(d) contain an endorsement of the product, personally or by implication, either directly or indirectly, by any person, character or group who is or is likely to be a role model for minors because of a past or present position of public trust, special achievement in any field of endeavour, association with charities and/or advocacy activities benefiting children, reputation or exposure in the mass media;

(e) attempt to establish the product as a status symbol, a necessity for the enjoyment of life or an escape from life's problems, or attempt to establish that consumption of the product should take precedence over other activities;

(f) imply directly or indirectly that social acceptance, social status, personal success, or business or athletic achievement may be acquired, enhanced or reinforced through consumption of the product;

(g) imply directly or indirectly that the presence or consumption of alcohol is, in any way, essential to the enjoyment of an activity or an event;

(h) portray any such product, or its consumption, in an immoderate way;

(i) exaggerate the importance or effect of any aspect of the product or its packaging;

(j) show or use language that suggests, in any way, product misuse or product dependency, compulsive behaviour, urgency of need or urgency of use;

(k) use imperative language to urge people to purchase or consume the product;

(l) introduce the product in such a way or at such a time that it may be associated with the operation of any vehicle or conveyance requiring skill;

(m) introduce the product in such a way or at such a time as may associate the product with any activity requiring a significant degree of skill, care or mental alertness or involving an obvious element of danger;

(n) contain inducements to prefer an alcoholic beverage because of its higher alcohol content;

(o) refer to the feeling and effect caused by alcohol consumption or show or convey the impression, by behaviour or comportment, that the people depicted in the message are under the influence of alcohol;

(p) portray persons with any such product in situations in which the consumption of alcohol is prohibited; or

(q) contain scenes in which any such product is consumed, or that give the impression, visually or in sound, that it is being or has been consumed.


INTERPRETATION OF THE CODE FOR BROADCAST ADVERTISING OF ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES

1 August 1996

The following provisions do not form part of the Code. They are intended solely to serve as guidelines for the interpretation of the Code, and should not be considered as exhaustive or comprehensive.

With reference to paragraph (a):

A message should not challenge or dare people to drink or to try a particular alcoholic beverage.

In the event of a promotion, contest or premium offer, there should be at least one clearly stated option that permits participation without purchase of the product and without cost to the participants. It should also be stated that participation is limited to those who are of legal drinking age in the province where the message is to be aired. In television advertisements, in deference to members of the audience who may have impaired vision or hearing, such options and restrictions should be described both verbally and in writing. The written version of the message should be of such size, placement and duration as to be clearly visible.

With reference to paragraph (b):

The message should be overtly directed to persons who are of the legal drinking age in the province where the message is broadcast. No such message should depict, under any circumstances, children, children's toys, children's clothing, playground equipment, or wading pools. Objects that are commonly used by children, but not considered childish when used by adults (e.g. most sports equipment, Frisbees and colouring pencils) may be depicted in such messages. Mythical or fairy tale characters appealing to children, such as Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny or Hallowe'en characters and symbols, should not be depicted in such messages under any circumstance.

With reference to paragraph ©:

The product should not be portrayed in the context of, or in relation to, for example, a performance, event or activity where the audience or the participants are expected to be predominantly people under the legal drinking age or where the television or film audiences of the featured performer(s) consist predominantly of people under the legal drinking age.

With reference to paragraph (d):

Once established as a role model for minors, a person will be considered to remain a role model for a period of 10 years from the date of retirement from the activity.

With reference to paragraph (g):

Commercial messages should not suggest that the presence or consumption of alcohol may create or contribute to an apparent change in mood, atmosphere or environment, or that a social gathering, celebration or any other activity is, or would be, incomplete or unsatisfactory without the product. In the depiction of alcoholic beverages as part of a celebration, advertisements should not imply or suggest that the presence or consumption of the beverage, itself, is essential to the success of the activity.

It is acceptable to say that one alcoholic beverage is superior in some way to any or all other similar alcoholic beverages, but it is not acceptable to suggest or imply that it is superior to any or all foods or non-alcoholic beverages.

With reference to paragraph (h):

Under this provision, a message should not portray (i) an unrealistic or excessive number of cases or containers or any excessive volume of the product in a context where consumption may reasonably be expected to occur; or (ii) any quantity of containers or volume of the product in a context where the number of individual standard servings represented exceeds or may appear to exceed the number of individuals shown. This provision does not prohibit depiction of the manufacturing, warehousing, distribution or commercial storage of alcoholic beverages.

With reference to paragraph (l):

Introduction of the product will be deemed to have occurred upon the introduction of a flat label, jingle, musical signature, logo, brand name, character or other symbol commonly used to identify the product or its manufacturer. It is unacceptable to suggest or imply that the product is or should be consumed prior to or during operation of any vehicle or conveyance or the riding of an animal. It is acceptable to suggest or imply that consumption may occur after all operation depicted in the message has been clearly completed for the day. It is also acceptable to suggest or imply that consumption may occur (among passengers only) on an aircraft or vessel operated by a professional crew.

With reference to paragraph (m):

Introduction of the product will be deemed to have occurred upon the introduction of a flat label, jingle, musical signature, logo, brand name, character or other symbol commonly used to identify the product or its manufacturer. It is unacceptable to suggest or imply that the product is or should be consumed prior to or during any such activity. It is acceptable to introduce the product after all such activity depicted in the message has been clearly completed for the day.