WASHINGTON, DC – May 15, 2006 – The Distilled Spirits Council was named a finalist today in the American Business AwardsSM “Best Corporate Social Responsibility Program” category for the spirits industry’s new system of public reporting on alcohol advertising complaints.

“We are pleased the distilled spirits industry’s system of self-regulation has been recognized by the business community,” said DISCUS President Peter Cressy. “In an era where corporate social responsibility is high in people’s minds, incorporating transparency through public reporting about complaints is an example of how an industry can effectively regulate itself and raise public confidence.”

Hailed as “the business world’s own Oscars” by the New York Post (April 27, 2005), The American Business Awards are the only national, all-encompassing business awards program honoring great performances in the workplace.

More than 1,500 entries from companies of all sizes and in virtually every industry were submitted for consideration in more than 40 categories, including Best Overall Company, Best Executive, Best New Product or Service, and Best Corporate Social Responsibility Program.

The Council was named a finalist for the Best Corporate Social Responsibility Program for its Semi-Annual Code Report, a new component of the industry’s 70-year-old Code of Responsible Practices for advertising and marketing.

To make the industry’s advertising complaint review process more transparent and understandable to the public, in 2005 DISCUS began publishing semi-annual public reports detailing complaints against specific spirits advertisements, decisions of the industry’s internal review board and actions taken by each advertiser.
The reports can be viewed on the DISCUS website at /industry/code/sacr.htm

Regulators and industry watchdogs have taken notice of the distilled spirits industry’s approach to self-regulation, calling it a model for other industries, including food product manufacturers and the pharmaceutical industry.

“Being named a Finalist in The American Business Awards is an important achievement,” said Michael Gallagher, founder and president of The Stevie Awards. “It means that independent business executives have agreed that the nominee is worthy of national recognition. We congratulate all of the Finalists on their achievement and wish them well in the competition.”

Nicknamed the Stevies for the Greek word “crowned,” winners will be announced during the annual gala on Monday, June 12 at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City. More than 800 executives from across the U.S.A. are expected to attend. The ceremonies will be videocast on the Internet and broadcast on radio.

Members of the Awards’ Board of Distinguished Judges & Advisors and their staffs will select Stevie Award winners this week from among the Finalists. Finalists were chosen by business professionals nationwide during preliminary judging in March through early May.