Distilled Spirits Council Launches Voter Education Effort on Liquor Privatization Ballot Initiative

Newspaper ads urge voters to understand 1183 before they vote

WASHINGTON, DC – Print and online ads are running in newspapers across Washington State today as part of an education effort sponsored by the Distilled Spirits Council urging residents to fully understand complex elements of the liquor privatization ballot Initiative 1183, before they vote.

“As a matter of principle, we take no position and are neutral on the issue of privatization and Initiative 1183.  We believe that the citizens of each state should determine for themselves how beverage alcohol should be regulated in their state,” said Distilled Spirits Council President Peter Cressy, whose national trade association represents most of the distilled spirits sold in Washington State and across the United States. “Unfortunately, in our opinion, Initiative 1183 contains some flaws and may not be in your best interest as a customer.”

The advertisement — an open letter to voters from the Distilled Spirits Council — encourages people to go to www.understand1183.com to learn more about some key elements of the initiative that consumers should be aware of including: retail-to-retail sales; the 10,000 square feet store requirement; and franchise protection for wholesalers.  These elements could have an adverse effect in the marketplace including increased prices; discrimination against small businesses; and reduced selection and competition.

Importantly, the letter urges voters not to base their decision on any rhetoric from either side that distilled spirits products should be treated differently than beer or wine.

“When considering this Initiative, we urge you not to base your decision on the misperception that spirits are different than beer or wine.  This is simply not true,” said Cressy.  “Alcohol is alcohol and is all the same to a breathalyzer, and all should be consumed in moderation.”

In addition to the newspaper and online ads, the Council plans a statewide radio and television education initiative to ensure that the subtleties and complexities are fully understood.

To view the open letter, visit www.understand1183.com