Marketing Practices FAQ

Cooperative Advertising

  1. TABC Administrative Rule 45.110(c)(3) states that "…Examples of unlawful inducements are: …(3) providing or purchasing, in whole or in part, any type of advertising benefitting any specific retailer;…" How does TABC interpret "advertising benefiting a specific retailer"?

    TABC has historically interpreted "advertising benefiting a specific retailer" to mean any form of advertising by a supplier or wholesaler which draws attention to or promotes a specific retailer or group of retailers. It includes any form of advertising which lists a retailer’s trade name, logo, trademarks, etc.

  2. When a retailer publishes weekly specials in the newspaper, is it legal for the retailer to advertise specific brands of alcoholic beverages or include a recipe that calls for a specific brand of alcoholic beverage?

    Yes, as long as the retailer does not receive a benefit of any kind from the manufacturer or distributor for stating the brand name in the advertisement. The retailer must bear all cost associated with the advertisement. See sections 102.15, 108.05, 108.06 of the Alcoholic Beverage Code.

  3. 1. If a manufacturer's product is only carried in a limited number of stores, can the manufacturer or wholesaler include in an advertisement a list of all the stores that carry their product?

    Manufacturing and wholesaler tiers may advertise retail locations where their products may be purchased. However, no financial remuneration, incentive, inducement, or compensation for advertising is allowed between a member of one tier and a member of another tier. Marketing Practices Bulletin MPB0049, "Changes to Current Regulations – Advertising and Labeling" authorizes manufacturers and wholesalers to engage in this activity. Section 108.09 of the Code authorizes a winery to engage in this activity.

  4. Can a distributor sponsor an event featuring the Budweiser Clydesdales in a county-owned arena that has a TABC permit/license?

    If the permittee/licensee meets the requirements for being an independent concessionaire who has no control over any event held at the location, the commission may consider the request based on the facts of the situation.

Signs

  1. Can banners be given to retailers with the trade name of the retailer on it? Can a retailer purchase signs from a distributor and place the retailer's logo on the sign?

    As stated in Rule 45.113(d)(3): "(d) Signs provided to retailers…(3) A sign furnished by a distributor or authorized member of the manufacturing tier may not bear the name, logo or trademark of a specific retailer." A retailer may not have their trade name on a sign (or banner) furnished by a distributor or manufacturer and may not place their name on a sign provided by a distributor or manufacturer. Signs which are unique and cannot be used by any other retailer are generally in violation of this rule.

  2. Can signs that are made by a distributor and given to retailers contain specific prices that may be unique to that retailer?

    Signs which are unique and cannot be used by any other retailer are generally in violation of this rule; however, a specific situation may be examined to determine if the sign is in conflict with the rule.

  3. If a band that is sponsored by a brewery plays at a retail account, can the band display a banner with the name of the band and the brewery on it?

    Members of the upper tiers may "furnish, give or sell" signs to retailers (Rule 45.113(d)). However, a manufacturer or distributor may not give a retailer anything of value, to obtain an advertising service, such as the display of a banner, all or partial payment of the band, and promotional clothing worn by the band (Alcoholic Beverage Code, §108.05). Thus, whether a band may advertise a brand of alcoholic beverages on retail premises is determined by whether the manufacturer/distributor has given anything of value for the "sponsorship."

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