By Melissa Melewsky, Media Law Counsel PA NewsMedia Assoc.
Q: Several local bars and restaurants that deliver food want to run ads that tell readers they can now deliver beer along with a food order. The ads note things like “now delivering beer,” or “beer delivery/up to two six packs.” Can they do that, and can newspapers publish that kind of ad?
A: Yes. Businesses licensed to sell alcohol can deliver a limited amount of beer as long as they have obtained the proper permit, and ads promoting the service are acceptable.
The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB)’s policy on beer delivery notes licensees can obtain a permit to allow the transport of a limited amount of beer as long as certain conditions are met. The “Transport for Hire” permit allows those holding the permit, such as retail licensees like bars and restaurants, to deliver up to 192 ounces of beer (two six packs) per sale if the sale is completed on the licensed premises, the delivery vehicle is owned/leased by the licensee and operated by licensee employees.
The PLCB’s advisory opinion does not specifically address advertising, but the law generally allows licensees to advertise prices and availability of products in newspapers. If a licensee obtains a “Transport for Hire” permit and can legally deliver beer, the law allows them to advertise the service and prices, as long as the advertising otherwise complies with the advertising requirements imposed by the Liquor Code and PLCB regulations.
The general rules regarding alcoholic beverage ads are as follows:
Any advertisements of price may not contain any of the following:
• False, deceptive or misleading statements;
• Statements disparaging of the products of competitors; or
• Monetary comparisons of brands.
Bars and Restaurants may:
• Offer one drink special per day (drink of the day), which must end by midnight; and
• Offer one four-hour happy hour each day, which must end by midnight.
• Happy hour notice must be posted at the licensed premises seven days prior to happy hour.
Bars and Restaurants may not:
• Offer 2 drinks for the price of one;
• Sell an unlimited amount of alcohol for a set price (EXCEPT at catered events arranged at least 24 hours in advance);
• Discriminate on the basis of sex, race, national origin, or disability (No "Ladies Nights" with specials exclusively for women); or
• Offer any discount pricing (happy hour, drink of the day) after midnight.
The following restrictions apply to all advertisements for alcoholic or malt beverages:
• The advertiser must be clearly identified in the ad.
• No printed advertisements are permitted within 300 feet of a church, school or public playground.
• No advertisements may be directed at minors to promote the illegal consumption of alcoholic beverages.
• Obscene advertisements are prohibited.
• Advertisements may not contradict the ideals of safety or safe driving programs.
• Licensees may not advertise any alcoholic beverages if they do not actually have a sufficient supply of the beverages on hand to meet the normally expected demands.
• Advertisements may not refer to the alcoholic strength of a malt beverage in any manner in order to induce consumers to buy the product. Terms such as "full strength," "extra strength," "high proof," etc. are prohibited.
Last Updated on Friday, 05 February 2016 08:01
Met-Ed tries again to break electric pact
Metropolitan Edison Company has advised Middletown officials that it is seeking again to terminate the 1906 contract under which it supplies electricity to the Borough at the favorable rate of 1 cent per kilowatt hour (Kwh).
Last Updated on Tuesday, 02 February 2016 16:20
We shoveled. We plowed. We shoveled some more. We finally dug ourselves out of Winter Storm Jonas, the worst snowstorm in Middletown history.
Buried beneath snow after the two-day storm moved in on Friday, Jan. 22, we emerged sore and tired. The blizzard used up all four snow days reserved by the Middletown Area School District, and cost Middletown extra tax dollars to hire contractors to help us dig out.
But we found a chance to play in it, too – such as Middletown Mayor James H. Curry III’s Snow Bowl, a community flag football game in the gloriously thick blanket of snow on the field on Susquehanna Street on Saturday, Jan. 30.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 02 February 2016 15:52
When Middletown Mayor James H. Curry III summoned citizens to join him in turning Winter Storm Jonas, the biggest snowstorm in borough history, into a wintry gambol and a chance to meet neighbors, about 50 children and adults, wrapped in warm clothes, met him at the field on Susquehanna Street on Sunday, Jan. 31 for a snowy game of football.
Snow Bowl 2016, like its inaugural game last winter, was a chance to bond with other residents, and learn a couple lessons:
1. Getting tackled in 30.2 inches of snow doesn’t hurt.
2. Gatorade freezes quickly.
3. Middletowners enjoy camaraderie, even when they’re cold and wet.
For more photos of Snow Bowl 2016 by the Press And Journal's Jim Lewis, check out our print edition or click here for our E-edition.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 02 February 2016 14:27
Special Program Just Could Save Your Life
Area residents are invited to a presentation that could save their lives. Sponsored by the Middletown Senior center, a program instructing citizens how to protect themselves against crime will be presented Wednesday, February 10 at 10:30 a.m. at the Middletown Senior Center.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 27 January 2016 12:51