WASHINGTON, D.C. – In a major report to Congress released today, the Federal Trade Commission concluded the distilled spirits industry’s advertising is directed to adults and that self-regulatory measures are “rigorous” and effective. Specifically, the FTC said the proceedings of the Distilled Spirits Council Code Review Board provide “a critical review of spirits company compliance with the DISCUS Code” and the Board’s “analysis of complaints over the past three years has been rigorous.” The FTC further highlighted “important improvements” contained in the latest DISCUS Code including: seventy percent adult demographic, post audits of placements, public reports and an external advisory board as part of its complaint compliance process. Importantly, the FTC said its investigation found no evidence of targeting underage consumers, that teen drinking has “declined significantly,” and many youth gain access to alcohol primarily through non-commercial sources such as friends, parents, and other adults. “This report is clearly recognition of our industry’s commitment to responsible advertising and marketing,” said Distilled Spirits Council President Peter H. Cressy. “The key provisions of our Code – particularly the 70 percent adult demographic – represent highly responsible standards that provide reasonable exercise of First Amendment Rights.” As part of the report, the FTC reviewed thousands of internal documents from beer, wine and spirits companies to determine the effectiveness of industry self-regulatory Codes and whether the placement and content of alcohol advertisements were directed to adults. The report, requested by Congress, is the FTC’s fourth major review of alcohol advertising in four years and the fourth to conclude that alcohol ads are directed to adults.