WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Distilled Spirits Council today announced significant changes to its Code of Responsible Practices, setting modern standards for governing the responsible advertising and marketing of over 2,800 brands of member company spirits, beer and wine products. “These revisions significantly enhance and modernize our 69-year-old code,” said Council President Peter H. Cressy. He said the decision to adopt the revisions at this time reflects changes in the marketplace, technology and society. “We believe this is a strong, comprehensive and responsible code,” Cressy added. Among the key changes: • 70% adult demographic for all advertising placements – TV, Radio, Print, and Promotional Events. This is a significant increase and replaces the previous provision that required a 51 percent adult audience. • All Drinks Code — Now applies to all member company products – beer, wine or spirits. Previously, the Council Code only applied to spirits products. In an era of corporate mergers and consolidations many of our companies have acquired substantial beer and wine interests. • Transparency. The Distilled Spirits Council will now issue public, semiannual reports detailing complaint decisions and actions taken by the Code Review Board. Unique among all beverage alcohol industry codes, the Council’s Code provides for a Board which is responsible for receiving complaints and enforcing compliance and has been an effective component of the DISCUS Code for decades. • External Advisory Board Established. Three distinguished experts from education, government and broadcasting will sit as an advisory board. Under this change, external advisors will provide guidance and pre-review advertisements upon request by member companies and serve as tie-breakers if the Code Review Board cannot reach a decision on a particular complaint. The three advisors are: 1. Dr. Constantine W. Curris, President of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, with over 38 years of higher education experience including former President of Clemson University, Murray State University and University of Northern Iowa. 2. Ms. Jodie Bernstein, former Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection and a leading force in creating the Nation Advertising Review Council of the Better Business Bureaus. 3. Mr. Richard Gitter, former broadcast network executive with 25 years experience overseeing advertising standards and compliance for the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) and the American Broadcasting Company (ABC). “The Code of Responsible Practices reflects excellent policies that establish high standards for advertising,” said Dr. Constantine W. Curris, President of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities. “This progressive document raises the bar and sets a new standard for all engaged in advertising for beverage alcohol.” Cressy, a former college president himself, pointed out, “In addition to these changes, we will continue our longstanding provision of not advertising in college newspapers or publications.” Other Significant Code Changes • Promotional events should not reward excessive/abusive consumption and should not promote or encourage drinking in conjunction with reckless or irresponsible behavior; • More explicit provisions prohibiting depictions of excessive drinking and use of sex as a selling point; • Incorporation of responsible drinking statements in advertisements, marketing materials and promotional event where practicable; • Increased age requirement for models/actors – must be at least 25 years old; • New provision prohibiting advertising that associates drinking with “Rite of Passage” to adulthood; • Expanded Scope – All brand communications. Two new elements: product labels and sales sheets; • Age verification mechanisms for member websites/link to a responsible decision-making site. “I think it’s clear from these provisions that Distilled Spirits Council member companies place the highest priority on responsibility for all of their products,” said Cressy. “Furthermore, this demonstrates that our Code is a living document that is responsive to society and shows that self-regulation is effective and responsible.” First adopted in 1934, the Code has been revised periodically over the decades. The Code was last updated in 1998 to incorporate Internet advertising. The new Code applies to all advertising and marketing materials developed after Oct. 1, 2003. The Code can be viewed at the Distilled Spirits Council’s website: www.distilledspirits.org