DISCUS Code Outside Advisory Board

About the Code Outside Advisory Board

In 2003, DISCUS established an Outside Advisory Board to provide confidential guidance on Code compliance. Members of the Advisory Board have extensive experience related to responsible advertising. The Advisory Board’s main functions are as follows:

Confidential Guidance on Code Compliance. On a voluntary, nonbinding, and confidential basis, beverage alcohol industry member advertisers can seek guidance from the Advisory Board related to any questions about Code compliance.

Complaint Adjudication Guidance. These Outside Advisors also will be contacted for their respective opinion if the Code Review Board cannot arrive at a majority decision about a particular advertisement or marketing material.

DISCUS Code Outside Advisory Board

Joan Z. Bernstein

Former Director of Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection

Ms. Joan “Jodie” Bernstein, recently retired from Kelley, Drye & Warren, an international law firm specializing in consumer protection law and policy, has a distinguished history of government service. Ms. Bernstein most recently served as Director of the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection from 1995 to 2001, where she was involved in every facet of advertising for the goods and services sold in the United States.

During her tenure, Ms. Bernstein oversaw the FTC’s 1999 Report to Congress on alcohol advertising and self-regulation. Ms. Bernstein was the leading force in creating the National Advertising Review Council of the Better Business Bureaus, established in 1971 to review advertising copy to ensure that it is truthful and accurate.

Ms. Bernstein’s government career also included serving as General Counsel of the Environmental Protection Agency and as General Counsel of the Department of Health and Human Services. She also served as Chair of the Commission on Wartime Relocation & Internment of Civilians that produced a historic report on the internment of Japanese Americans, which recommended reparation payments to those who were interned.  The Congress enacted the recommendations and the legislation was signed by President Ronald Reagan, who issued a formal apology for the government’s actions.

Dr. Constantine W. Curris

Former President, American Association of State Colleges and Universities

A leader among academic administrators, Dr. Constantine “Deno” Curris served as the President of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, a national association of over 400 public colleges and universities, from 1999 to 2008. AASCU, founded in 1965, is governed by an elected board of 15 university presidents and chancellors.

Dr. Curris has 38 years of service in higher education, including serving as President of Clemson University for over four years, University of Northern Iowa for 12 years and Murray State University in Kentucky for 10 years.

Dr. Curris is a strong advocate for public higher education and its students and a proponent of the qualitative strengthening of higher education institutions in order to meet public needs and expectations in the 21st century. He has been actively engaged in addressing problems of alcohol abuse among college students.

Richard P. Gitter

Former NBC Vice President, Advertising Standards and Program Compliance

Mr. Richard P. Gitter is a former network executive with 34 years of experience in the broadcast industry, including 30 years overseeing network program and advertising standards.

Mr. Gitter formerly served as Vice President of Advertising Standards and Program Compliance for NBC, where he reviewed commercials and programming to ensure compliance with Federal regulations and network policies. He served in a similar capacity at ABC as the Vice President, Department of Broadcast Standards and Practices.

Mr. Gitter is a former member of the Board of Directors of the Council of Better Business Bureaus and the Radio Code Board of the National Association of Broadcasters.

Lynne J. Omlie

Former Distilled Spirits Council Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary

In 2020, after over 30 years of dedicated service, Ms. Lynne J. Omlie retired from the Distilled Spirits Council having served in various roles, including Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary and Senior Advisor to the President.

During her distinguished career, Ms. Omlie also spent decades as the DISCUS Code Review Board staff liaison. As a result of her leadership and contributions, the DISCUS Code is recognized as a model of effective self-regulation by the government, beverage alcohol industry, and other industries alike.

Prior to joining DISCUS in 1987, Ms. Omlie was in private practice at Howrey & Simon, a Washington, D.C. law firm specializing in business commercial litigation. Before her tenure at Howrey & Simon, she worked at the Federal Trade Commission for FTC Commissioner David A. Clanton.