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§7.54 Prohibited statements.
(a) General prohibition. An advertisement of malt beverages must not contain:
(1) Any statement that is false or untrue in any material particular, or that, irrespective of falsity, directly, or by ambiguity, omission, or inference, or by the addition of irrelevant, scientific or technical matter, tends to create a misleading impression.
(2) Any statement that is disparaging of a competitor's products.
(3) Any statement, design, device, or representation which is obscene or indecent.
(4) Any statement, design, device, or representation of or relating to analyses, standards, or tests, irrespective of falsity, which the appropriate TTB officer finds to be likely to mislead the consumer.
(5) Any statement, design, device, or representation of or relating to any guarantee, irrespective of falsity, which the appropriate TTB officer finds to be likely to mislead the consumer. Money-back guarantees are not prohibited.
(6) Any statement that the malt beverages are brewed, made, bottled, packed, labeled, or sold under, or in accordance with, any municipal, State, or Federal authorization, law, or regulation; and if a municipal or State permit number is stated, the permit number shall not be accompanied by any additional statement relating thereto.
(7) The words “bonded”, “bottled in bond”, “aged in bond”, “bonded age”, “bottled under customs supervision”, or phrases containing these or synonymous terms which imply governmental supervision over production, bottling, or packing.
(8) Any statement, design, device, or representation that tends to create a false or misleading impression that the malt beverage contains distilled spirits or is a distilled spirits product. This paragraph does not prohibit the following in advertisements for malt beverages:
(i) A truthful and accurate statement of alcohol content, in conformity with §7.71;
(ii) The use of a brand name of a distilled spirits product as a malt beverage brand name, provided that the overall advertisement does not present a misleading impression about the identity of the product; or
(iii) The use of a cocktail name as a brand name or fanciful name of a malt beverage, provided that the overall advertisement does not present a misleading impression about the identity of the product.
(b) Statements inconsistent with labeling. (1) Advertisements shall not contain any statement concerning a brand or lot of malt beverages that is inconsistent with any statement on the labeling thereof.
(2) Any label depicted on a bottle in an advertisement shall be a reproduction of an approved label.
(c) Alcoholic content. (1) Advertisements shall not contain the words “strong,” “full strength,” “extra strength,” “high test,” “high proof,” “full alcohol strength,” or any other statement of alcoholic content, or any statement of the percentage and quantity of the original extract, or any numerals, letters, characters, figures, or similar words or statements, likely to be considered as statements of alcoholic content, unless required by State law. This does not preclude use of the terms “low alcohol,” “reduced alcohol,” “non-alcoholic,” and “alcohol-free,” as used on labels, in accordance with §7.71 (d), (e), and (f).
(2) An approved malt beverage label which bears a statement of alcoholic content permitted under §7.71 may be depicted in any advertising media. The statement of alcoholic content on the label may not appear more prominently in the advertisement than it does on the approved label.
(3) An actual malt beverage bottle showing the approved label bearing a statement of alcoholic content permitted under §7.71 may be displayed in any advertising media.
(d) Class. (1) No product containing less than one-half of 1 per centum of alcohol by volume shall be designated in any advertisement as “beer”, “lager beer”, “lager”, “ale”, “porter”, or “stout”, or by any other class or type designation commonly applied to fermented malt beverages containing one-half of 1 per centum or more of alcohol by volume.
(2) No product other than a malt beverage fermented at comparatively high temperature, possessing the characteristics generally attributed to “ale,” “porter,” or “stout” and produced without the use of coloring or flavoring materials (other than those recognized in standard brewing practices) shall be designated in any advertisement by any of these class designations.
(e) Health-related statements—(1) Definitions. When used in this paragraph (e), terms are defined as follows:
(i) Health-related statement means any statement related to health and includes statements of a curative or therapeutic nature that, expressly or by implication, suggest a relationship between the consumption of alcohol, malt beverages, or any substance found within the malt beverage, and health benefits or effects on health. The term includes both specific health claims and general references to alleged health benefits or effects on health associated with the consumption of alcohol, malt beverages, or any substance found within the malt beverage, as well as health-related directional statements. The term also includes statements and claims that imply that a physical or psychological sensation results from consuming the malt beverage, as well as statements and claims of nutritional value (e.g., statements of vitamin content). Statements concerning caloric, carbohydrate, protein, and fat content do not constitute nutritional claims about the product.
(ii) Specific health claim is a type of health-related statement that, expressly or by implication, characterizes the relationship of the malt beverage, alcohol, or any substance found within the malt beverage, to a disease or health-related condition. Implied specific health claims include statements, symbols, vignettes, or other forms of communication that suggest, within the context in which they are presented, that a relationship exists between malt beverages, alcohol, or any substance found within the malt beverage, and a disease or health-related condition.
(iii) Health-related directional statement is a type of health-related statement that directs or refers consumers to a third party or other source for information regarding the effects on health of malt beverage or alcohol consumption.
(2) Rules for advertising—(i) Health-related statements. In general, advertisements may not contain any health-related statement that is untrue in any particular or tends to create a misleading impression as to the effects on health of alcohol consumption. TTB will evaluate such statements on a case-by-case basis and may require as part of the health-related statement a disclaimer or some other qualifying statement to dispel any misleading impression conveyed by the health-related statement. Such disclaimer or other qualifying statement must appear as prominent as the health-related statement.
(ii) Specific health claims. A specific health claim will not be considered misleading if it is truthful and adequately substantiated by scientific or medical evidence; sufficiently detailed and qualified with respect to the categories of individuals to whom the claim applies; adequately discloses the health risks associated with both moderate and heavier levels of alcohol consumption; and outlines the categories of individuals for whom any levels of alcohol consumption may cause health risks. This information must appear as part of the specific health claim and in a manner as prominent as the specific health claim.
(iii) Health-related directional statements. A statement that directs consumers to a third party or other source for information regarding the effects on health of malt beverage or alcohol consumption is presumed misleading unless it—
(A) Directs consumers in a neutral or other non-misleading manner to a third party or other source for balanced information regarding the effects on health of malt beverage or alcohol consumption; and
(B)(1) Includes as part of the health-related directional statement, and in a manner as prominent as the health-related directional statement, the following disclaimer: “This statement should not encourage you to drink or increase your alcohol consumption for health reasons;” or
(2) Includes as part of the health-related directional statement, and in a manner as prominent as the health-related directional statement, some other qualifying statement that the appropriate TTB officer finds is sufficient to dispel any misleading impression conveyed by the health-related directional statement.
(f) Confusion of brands. Two or more different brands or lots of malt beverages shall not be advertised in one advertisement (or in two or more advertisements in one issue of a periodical or a newspaper or in one piece of other written, printed, or graphic matter) if the advertisement tends to create the impression that representations made as to one brand or lot apply to the other or others, and if as to such latter the representations contravene any provision of §§7.50 through 7.54 or are in any respect untrue.
(g) Flags, seals, coats of arms, crests, and other insignia. No advertisement shall contain any statement, design, device, or pictorial representation of or relating to, or capable of being construed as relating to the armed forces of the United States, or of the American flag, or of any emblem, seal, insignia, or decoration associated with such flag or armed forces; nor shall any advertisement contain any statement, device, design, or pictorial representation of or concerning any flag, seal, coat of arms, crest, or other insignia, likely to mislead the consumer to believe that the product has been endorsed, made, or used by, or produced for, or under the supervision of, or in accordance with the specifications of the government, organization, family, or individual with whom such flag, seal, coat of arms, crest, or insignia is associated.
(h) Deceptive advertising techniques. Subliminal or similar techniques are prohibited. “Subliminal or similar techniques,” as used in this part, refers to any device or technique that is used to convey, or attempts to convey, a message to a person by means of images or sounds of a very brief nature that cannot be perceived at a normal level of awareness.
[T.D. 6521, 25 FR 13859, Dec. 29, 1960, as amended by T.D. ATF-180, 49 FR 31675, Aug. 8, 1984; T.D. ATF 280, 54 FR 3594, Jan. 25, 1989; T.D. ATF-339, 58 FR 21232, Apr. 19, 1993; T.D. TTB-1, 68 FR 10106, Mar. 3, 2003; T.D. TTB-21, 70 FR 235, Jan. 3, 2005]