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  • Heather Brüdlo

Alcohol Social Media Advertising Regulations Canada & USA

Updated: Nov 10, 2021

Alcohol Social Media Advertising Regulations Canada & USA


The regulations on advertising alcohol through social media might sound a touch mundane, but this article will save you time and money.


Focusing specifically on North American rules, this article will examine four alcohol institutions and their regulations regarding social media advertising.


We will take you through the following categories to familiarize you with terminology and the required actions among prevalent North American alcohol institutions:



  • Definitions of Common Regulations

  • Chart of Which Institutions Follow What

  • What Are The Institutions?


Legal Purchasing Age


The marketing must clearly state the product is for adults of legal purchasing age.


Audience Expectation


You can only place content advertising alcohol on sites where the audience can reasonably have a 71.6% of users above the legal purchasing age.

Age Affirmation


Any site that’s controlled by the alcohol brand advertiser and involves direct interaction with a potential purchaser needs to ensure that the user is of legal purchasing age before they can have full engagement with that site.


Monitoring Content


Any user-generated content on a web page controlled by the brand advertiser must be monitored and moderated regularly.


Forwarding Content


Any media that can be forwarded by users must include instructions that exposing the content to users below the legal purchase age is not allowed.


Respecting Privacy


Any information collected from users must be protected and respect their privacy to avoid, among many things, fraud.


Transparent Product Promotions


Brand marketing must be transparent, and product promotions must be identified as such.


The following is a chart that depicts which institutions follow what regulations with digital marketing communication.


RegulationInstitutionLegal Purchasing Age

  • Wine Institute

  • Distilled Spirits Council of the United States

  • Spirits Canada

  • Beer Institute

  • Beer Canada

Audience Expectations

  • Wine Institute

  • Distilled Spirits Council of the United States

  • Beer Institute

Age Affirmation

  • Wine Institute

  • Distilled Spirits Council of the United States

  • Spirits Canada

  • Beer Institute

  • Beer Canada

Monitoring Content

  • Wine Institute

  • Distilled Spirits Council of the United States

  • Spirits Canada

  • Beer Institute

  • Beer Canada

Forwarding Content

  • Wine Institute

  • Distilled Spirits Council of the United States

  • Spirits Canada

  • Beer Institute

  • Beer Canada

Respecting Privacy

  • Wine Institute

  • Distilled Spirits Council of the United States

  • Spirits Canada

  • Beer Institute

  • Beer Canada

Transparent Product Promotions

  • Wine Institute

  • Distilled Spirits Council of the United States

  • Spirits Canada

  • Beer Canada

Spirits Canada


Spirits Canada, also known as The Association of Canadian Distillers, is the national trade association representing the producers and marketers of distilled spirits manufactured and sold in Canada.


Beer Institute


Beer Institute is a national trade association representing companies that produce and import beer sold in the United States.


Wine Institute


The wine institute is the advocacy branch for the association of California Wineries. It is the only wine institute in America that advocates for wine at state, federal, and international levels.


Distilled Spirits Council of the United States


The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, Inc. (DISCUS) is a national trade association representing producers and marketers of distilled spirits sold in the United States.


Beer Canada


Beer Canada is the national trade association that advocates on behalf of Canada’s brewers. They ensure a healthy regulatory environment for their members. Beer Canada represents over 50 Canadian brewing companies that account for 90% of beer made in Canada.



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