WASHINGTON, D.C. –The Distilled Spirits Council (DISCUS) today announced several changes to its Code of Responsible Practices governing the advertising and marketing of over 2,800 spirits, beer and wine brands marketed by DISCUS members.

Among the key changes:

• Detailed product placements guidelines for movies, television programs, music videos and video games;

• No supplier-sponsored promotions in licensed establishments on college/university campuses;

• No drinking games rewarding or encouraging excessive/abusive consumption as part of supplier-sponsored promotions;

• More detailed “buying” guidelines for radio and new guidelines for newspaper placements; (link to guidelines below)

• Code compliance seminars on placement and content for members and non-members

“These new provisions reflect the spirits industry’s continued commitment to responsible advertising,” said Peter Cressy, President of the Distilled Spirits Council.  “As marketing communications evolve, so too does the industry’s 74-year-old Code.  We remain steadfast in our commitment to abide by the Code regardless of the medium.”

The DISCUS Code is supported by the Kentucky Distillers’ Association and the Presidents’ Forum, a coalition of producers or importers of beer, wine and spirits, as well as followed by an overwhelming number of other non-DISCUS member distillers.

First adopted in 1934, the Code has been revised periodically over the decades as the marketplace and technologies have changed.  The Code was last updated in 2003 to incorporate a 70% adult demographic; Semi-Annual Code Reports detailing advertising complaints; and the establishment of an external advisory board.

The distilled spirits industry’s approach to self-regulation, pointed to as a model for other industries by the Federal Trade Commission, has been commended on numerous occasions by regulators, industry watchdogs and the media.

The Semi-Annual Code Report was the recipient of the PR News Corporate Social Responsibility award for best Business Ethics Communications, and was a finalist for Best Corporate Social Responsibility Program for the American Business AwardsSM.

To view the 2009 DISCUS Code of Responsible Practices for Beverage Alcohol Advertising and Marketing, and the updated media “buying” guidelines click HERE.