Administrative Code

Virginia Administrative Code
10/3/2022

Chapter 20. Advertising

3VAC5-20-10. Advertising; generally; cooperative advertising; federal laws; cider; restrictions.

A. All alcoholic beverage advertising is permitted in this Commonwealth except that which is prohibited or otherwise limited or restricted by regulation of the board. Any editorial or other reading matter in any periodical, publication or newspaper for the publication of which no money or other valuable consideration is paid or promised, directly or indirectly, by or for the benefits of any permittee or licensee does not constitute advertising.

B. Advertising of cider, as defined in § 4.1-213 of the Code of Virginia, shall conform to the requirements for advertising beer.

C. The board may issue a permit authorizing a variance from any of its advertising regulations for good cause shown.

D. No advertising shall contain any statement, symbol, depiction or reference that:

1. Would tend to induce minors to drink, or would tend to induce persons to consume to excess;

2. Is obscene or is suggestive of any illegal activity;

3. Incorporates the use of any present or former athlete or athletic team or implies that the product enhances athletic prowess; except that, persons granted a license to sell wine or beer may display within their licensed premises point-of-sale advertising materials that incorporate the use of any present or former professional athlete or athletic team, provided that such advertising materials: (i) otherwise comply with the applicable regulations of the appropriate federal agency and (ii) do not depict any athlete consuming or about to consume alcohol prior to or while engaged in an athletic activity, do not depict an athlete consuming alcohol while the athlete is operating or about to operate a motor vehicle or other machinery, and do not imply that the alcoholic beverage so advertised enhances athletic prowess;

4. Is false or misleading in any material respect;

5. Implies or indicates, directly or indirectly, that the product is government endorsed by the use of flags, seals or other insignia or otherwise;

6. Makes any reference to the intoxicating effect of any alcoholic beverages;

7. Constitutes or contains a contest or sweepstakes where a purchase is required for participation; or

8. Constitutes or contains an offer to pay or provide anything of value conditioned on the purchase of alcoholic beverages, except for refund coupons and combination packaging. Any such combination packaging shall be limited to packaging provided by the manufacturer that is designed to be delivered intact to the consumer.

E. The board shall not regulate advertising of nonalcoholic beer or nonalcoholic wine so long as (i) a reasonable person by common observation would conclude that the advertising clearly does not represent any advertisement for alcoholic beverages and (ii) the advertising prominently states that the product is nonalcoholic.

Statutory Authority

§§ 4.1-111 and 4.1-320 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR125-01-2 § 1, eff. December 12, 1985; amended, Virginia Register Volume 3, Issue 1, eff. November 12, 1986; Volume 4, Issue 6, January 21, 1988; Volume 5, Issue 2, eff. November 24, 1988; Volume 6, Issue 2, eff. November 23, 1989; Volume 7, Issue 4, eff. December 19, 1990; Volume 8, Issue 6, eff. January 15, 1992; Volume 9, Issue 6, eff. January 13, 1993; Volume 10, Issue 11, eff. March 23, 1994; Volume 18, Issue 23, eff. August 28, 2002; Volume 26, Issue 11, eff. March 5, 2010; Volume 30, Issue 6, eff. December 18, 2013.

3VAC5-20-20. Advertising; interior; retail licensees.

A. As used in this section, the term "advertising materials" means any tangible property of any kind which utilizes words or symbols making reference to any brand or manufacturer of alcoholic beverages; except when used in the advertisement of nonalcoholic beer or nonalcoholic wine in accordance with 3VAC5-20-10 E.

B. Retail licensees may use any advertising materials having a wholesale value of not more than $250 per item that comply with 3VAC5-20-10 inside licensed retail establishments. Advertising materials may not be illuminated, except for back bar pedestals upon which advertising matter regarding spirits may appear.

Statutory Authority

§§ 4.1-111 and 4.1-320 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR125-01-2 § 2, eff. December 12, 1985; amended, Virginia Register Volume 3, Issue 1, eff. November 12, 1986; Volume 4, Issue 6, January 21, 1988; Volume 5, Issue 2, eff. November 24, 1988; Volume 6, Issue 2, eff. November 23, 1989; Volume 7, Issue 4, eff. December 19, 1990; Volume 8, Issue 6, eff. January 15, 1992; Volume 9, Issue 6, eff. January 13, 1993; Volume 10, Issue 11, eff. March 23, 1994; Volume 26, Issue 11, eff. March 5, 2010.

3VAC5-20-30. Advertising; exterior.

Outdoor alcoholic beverage advertising shall comply with 3VAC5-20-10 and shall be limited as follows:

1. No outdoor alcoholic beverage advertising shall depict persons consuming alcoholic beverages, use cartoon characters in any way, or use persons who have not attained the minimum drinking age as models or actors.

2. No outdoor alcoholic beverage advertising shall be placed in violation of § 4.1-112.2 of the Code of Virginia.

3. No outdoor alcoholic beverage advertising shall be placed on property zoned exclusively for agricultural or residential uses, or on unzoned property.

4. All outdoor alcoholic beverage advertising must also comply with the provisions of Chapter 12 (§ 33.2-1200 et seq.) of Title 33.2 of the Code of Virginia and the regulations of the Virginia Department of Transportation promulgated pursuant thereto.

5. No alcoholic beverage manufacturer, importer, or wholesale licensee may sell, rent, lend, buy for, or give to any retail licensee any outdoor alcoholic beverage advertising, any billboard placements for such advertising, or in any other way confer on any retail licensee anything of value that constitutes outdoor alcoholic beverage advertising.

6. No alcoholic beverage manufacturer, importer, or wholesale licensee may engage in cooperative advertising, as defined in 3VAC5-30-80, on behalf of any retail licensee.

7. No alcoholic beverage manufacturer or importer may require a wholesale licensee to place outdoor alcoholic beverage advertising or exercise control over the funds of a wholesale licensee for any purpose, including but not limited to the purchase of outdoor alcoholic beverage advertising.

Statutory Authority

§§ 4.1-111 and 4.1-320 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR125-01-2 § 3, eff. December 12, 1985; amended, Virginia Register Volume 3, Issue 1, eff. November 12, 1986; Volume 4, Issue 6, January 21, 1988; Volume 5, Issue 2, eff. November 24, 1988; Volume 6, Issue 2, eff. November 23, 1989; Volume 7, Issue 4, eff. December 19, 1990; Volume 8, Issue 6, eff. January 15, 1992; Volume 9, Issue 6, eff. January 13, 1993; Volume 10, Issue 11, eff. March 23, 1994; Volume 26, Issue 11, eff. March 5, 2010; Volume 30, Issue 6, eff. December 18, 2013.

3VAC5-20-40. Advertising; print and electronic media.

A. Alcoholic beverage advertising in the print or electronic media is permitted with the following requirements and conditions:

1. All alcoholic beverage advertising shall include the name and address (street address optional) of the responsible advertiser.

2. Advertisements of alcoholic beverages are prohibited in publications not of general circulation that are distributed or intended to be distributed primarily to persons under 21 years of age. All advertisements of alcoholic beverages are prohibited in publications distributed or intended to be distributed primarily to a high school or younger age level.

B. As used in the section, "electronic media" shall mean any system involving the transfer of signs, signals, writing, images, sounds, data, or intelligence of any nature transmitted in whole or in part by a wire, radio, television, electromagnetic, photo-electronic, or photo-optical system, including, but not limited to, radio, television, electronic mail, and the Internet.

Statutory Authority

§§ 4.1-103 and 4.1-111 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR125-01-2 § 4, eff. December 12, 1985; amended, Virginia Register Volume 3, Issue 1, eff. November 12, 1986; Volume 4, Issue 6, January 21, 1988; Volume 5, Issue 2, eff. November 24, 1988; Volume 6, Issue 2, eff. November 23, 1989; Volume 7, Issue 4, eff. December 19, 1990; Volume 8, Issue 6, eff. January 15, 1992; Volume 9, Issue 6, eff. January 13, 1993; Volume 10, Issue 11, eff. March 23, 1994; Volume 26, Issue 11, eff. March 5, 2010; Volume 32, Issue 20, eff. July 15, 2016.

3VAC5-20-50. (Repealed.)

Historical Notes

Derived from VR125-01-2 § 5, eff. December 12, 1985; amended, Virginia Register Volume 3, Issue 1, eff. November 12, 1986; Volume 4, Issue 6, January 21, 1988; Volume 5, Issue 2, eff. November 24, 1988; Volume 6, Issue 2, eff. November 23, 1989; Volume 7, Issue 4, eff. December 19, 1990; Volume 8, Issue 6, eff. January 15, 1992; Volume 9, Issue 6, eff. January 13, 1993; Volume 10, Issue 11, eff. March 23, 1994; repealed, Virginia Register Volume 26, Issue 11, eff. March 5, 2010.

3VAC5-20-60. Advertising; novelties and specialties.

Distribution of novelty and specialty items, including wearing apparel, bearing alcoholic beverage advertising, shall be subject to the following limitations and conditions:

1. Items not in excess of $10 in wholesale value may be given away;

2. Manufacturers, importers, bottlers, brokers, wholesalers or their representatives may give licensed retailers items not in excess of $10 in wholesale value in quantities equal to the number of employees of the retail establishment present at the time the items are delivered. Thereafter, such employees may wear or display the items on the licensed premises. Neither manufacturers, importers, bottlers, brokers, wholesalers or their representatives may give such items to patrons on the premises of retail licensees; however, manufacturers or their authorized representatives other than wholesalers conducting tastings pursuant to the provisions of § 4.1-201.1 of the Code of Virginia may give no more than one such item to each consumer provided a sample of alcoholic beverages during the tasting event; and such items bearing moderation and responsible drinking messages may be displayed by the licensee and his employees on the licensed premises and given to patrons on such premises as long as any references to any alcoholic beverage manufacturer or its brands are subordinate in type size and quantity of text to such moderation message;

3. Items in excess of $10 in wholesale value may be donated by distilleries, wineries and breweries only to participants or entrants in connection with the sponsorship of conservation and environmental programs, professional, semi-professional or amateur athletic and sporting events subject to the limitations of 3VAC5-20-100, and for events of a charitable or cultural nature;

4. Items may be sold by mail upon request or over-the-counter at retail establishments customarily engaged in the sale of novelties and specialties, provided they are sold at the reasonable open market price in the localities where sold;

5. Wearing apparel shall be in adult sizes;

6. Point-of-sale order blanks, relating to novelty and specialty items, may be provided by beer and wine wholesalers to retail licensees for use on their premises, if done for all retail licensees equally and after obtaining the consent, which may be a continuing consent, of each retailer or his representative. Wholesalers may not be involved in the redemption process; and

7. Novelty and specialty items bearing alcoholic beverage advertising may not be distributed to persons younger than the legal drinking age.

Statutory Authority

§§ 4.1-111 and 4.1-320 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR125-01-2 § 6, eff. December 12, 1985; amended, Virginia Register Volume 3, Issue 1, eff. November 12, 1986; Volume 4, Issue 6, January 21, 1988; Volume 5, Issue 2, eff. November 24, 1988; Volume 6, Issue 2, eff. November 23, 1989; Volume 7, Issue 4, eff. December 19, 1990; Volume 8, Issue 6, eff. January 15, 1992; Volume 9, Issue 6, eff. January 13, 1993; Volume 10, Issue 11, eff. March 23, 1994; Volume 18, Issue 23, eff. August 28, 2002; Volume 26, Issue 11, eff. March 5, 2010; Volume 30, Issue 6, eff. December 18, 2013.

3VAC5-20-70. (Repealed.)

Historical Notes

Derived from VR125-01-2 § 7, eff. December 12, 1985; amended, Virginia Register Volume 3, Issue 1, eff. November 12, 1986; Volume 4, Issue 6, January 21, 1988; Volume 5, Issue 2, eff. November 24, 1988; Volume 6, Issue 2, eff. November 23, 1989; Volume 7, Issue 4, eff. December 19, 1990; Volume 8, Issue 6, eff. January 15, 1992; Volume 9, Issue 6, eff. January 13, 1993; Volume 10, Issue 11, eff. March 23, 1994; repealed, Virginia Register Volume 26, Issue 11, eff. March 5, 2010.

3VAC5-20-80. (Repealed.)

Historical Notes

Derived from VR125-01-2 § 8, eff. December 12, 1985; amended, Virginia Register Volume 3, Issue 1, eff. November 12, 1986; Volume 4, Issue 6, January 21, 1988; Volume 5, Issue 2, eff. November 24, 1988; Volume 6, Issue 2, eff. November 23, 1989; Volume 7, Issue 4, eff. December 19, 1990; Volume 8, Issue 6, eff. January 15, 1992; Volume 9, Issue 6, eff. January 13, 1993; Volume 10, Issue 11, eff. March 23, 1994; repealed, Virginia Register Volume 26, Issue 11, eff. March 5, 2010.

3VAC5-20-90. Advertising; coupons.

A. "Normal retail price" shall mean the average retail price of the brand and size of the product in a given market and not a reduced or discounted price.

B. Coupons may be advertised in accordance with the following conditions and restrictions:

1. Manufacturers or importers of spirits, wine, and beer may use only consumer submitted refund, not instantly redeemable discount, coupons. The coupons may not exceed 50% of the normal retail price and may not be honored at a retail outlet or state government store but shall be submitted directly to the manufacturer or importer or its designated agent. Such agent may not be a wholesaler or retailer of alcoholic beverages. Consumer proof of purchase (such as a dated, retail specific receipt) is required for redemption of all consumer coupons. Coupons are permitted in the print media, via the Internet, by direct mail or electronic mail to consumers, or as part of, or attached to, the package. Manufacturers, importers, bottlers, brokers, wholesalers, and their representatives may provide coupon pads to retailers for use by retailers on their premises if done for all retail licensees equally and after obtaining the consent, which may be a continuing consent, of each retailer or retailer's representative. Wholesale licensees may attach refund coupons to the package if done for all retail licensees equally and after obtaining the consent, which may be a continuing consent, for each retailer or retailer's representative.

2. Manufacturers or importers offering refund coupons on spirits and wine sold in state government stores shall notify the board at least 15 days in advance of the issuance of the coupons of its amount, its expiration date, and the area of the Commonwealth in which it will be primarily used if not used statewide.

3. Wholesale licensees are not permitted to offer coupons.

4. Retail licensees may offer coupons, including their own discount or refund coupons, on wine and beer sold for off-premises consumption only. Retail licensees may offer their own coupons in the print media, at the point-of-sale, or by direct mail to consumers.

5. No retailer may be paid a fee by manufacturers or wholesalers of alcoholic beverages for display or use of coupons, and the name of the retail establishment may not appear on any refund coupons offered by manufacturers. No manufacturer or wholesaler may furnish any coupons or materials regarding coupons to retailers that are customized or designed for discount or refund by the retailer.

6. Retail licensees or employees thereof may not receive refunds on coupons obtained from the packages before sale at retail.

7. No coupons may be honored for any individual younger than the legal age for purchase.

Statutory Authority

§§ 4.1-111 and 4.1-320 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR125-01-2 § 9, eff. December 12, 1985; amended, Virginia Register Volume 3, Issue 1, eff. November 12, 1986; Volume 4, Issue 6, January 21, 1988; Volume 5, Issue 2, eff. November 24, 1988; Volume 6, Issue 2, eff. November 23, 1989; Volume 7, Issue 4, eff. December 19, 1990; Volume 8, Issue 6, eff. January 15, 1992; Volume 9, Issue 6, eff. January 13, 1993; Volume 10, Issue 11, eff. March 23, 1994; Volume 26, Issue 11, eff. March 5, 2010; Volume 30, Issue 6, eff. December 18, 2013; Volume 38, Issue 9, eff. February 7, 2022.

3VAC5-20-100. Advertising; sponsorship of public events; restrictions and conditions.

A. Generally. Alcoholic beverage advertising in connection with the sponsorship of public events shall be limited to sponsorship of conservation and environmental programs, professional, semi-professional, or amateur athletic and sporting events and events of a charitable or cultural nature by distilleries, wineries, breweries, importers, and bottlers.

B. Restrictions and conditions.

1. Any sponsorship on a college, high school or younger age level is prohibited;

2. Cooperative advertising, as defined in 3VAC5-30-80, is prohibited;

3. Awards or contributions of alcoholic beverages are prohibited;

4. Advertising of alcoholic beverages shall conform in size and content to the other advertising concerning the event and advertising regarding charitable events shall place primary emphasis on the charitable fund raising nature of the event;

5. A charitable event is one held for the specific purpose of raising funds for a charitable organization which is exempt from federal and state taxes;

6. Advertising in connection with the sponsorship of an event may be in any media, such as print media, the Internet or other electronic means, television, or radio; by direct mail or flyers to consumers; on programs, tickets, and schedules for the event; on the inside of licensed or unlicensed retail establishments; and at the site of the event;

7. Advertising materials as defined in 3VAC5-30-60 G, table tents as defined in 3VAC5-30-60 H and canisters are permitted;

8. Prior written notice shall be submitted to the board describing the nature of the sponsorship and giving the date, time and place of it; and

9. Manufacturers may sponsor public events and wholesalers may only cosponsor charitable events.

Statutory Authority

§§ 4.1-111 and 4.1-320 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR125-01-2 § 10, eff. December 12, 1985; amended, Virginia Register Volume 3, Issue 1, eff. November 12, 1986; Volume 4, Issue 6, January 21, 1988; Volume 5, Issue 2, eff. November 24, 1988; Volume 6, Issue 2, eff. November 23, 1989; Volume 7, Issue 4, eff. December 19, 1990; Volume 8, Issue 6, eff. January 15, 1992; Volume 9, Issue 6, eff. January 13, 1993; Volume 10, Issue 11, eff. March 23, 1994; Volume 26, Issue 11, eff. March 5, 2010; Volume 30, Issue 6, eff. December 18, 2013.

Website addresses provided in the Virginia Administrative Code to documents incorporated by reference are for the reader's convenience only, may not necessarily be active or current, and should not be relied upon. To ensure the information incorporated by reference is accurate, the reader is encouraged to use the source document described in the regulation.

As a service to the public, the Virginia Administrative Code is provided online by the Virginia General Assembly. We are unable to answer legal questions or respond to requests for legal advice, including application of law to specific fact. To understand and protect your legal rights, you should consult an attorney.