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DISCUS airs report on advertising/marketing complaints.

WASHINGTON, DC -- The Distilled Spirits Council (DISCUS) has issued the first-ever public report detailing complaints about specific alcohol advertisements, decisions of the industry's internal review board and actions taken by each advertiser.

"This demonstrates our industry's strong commitment to responsibility. Further, by releasing Code Review Board reports, we believe it will make clear that self-regulation works and will encourage full compliance with the Code and Code Review Board decisions," said DISCUS President Peter H. Cressy.

The DISCUS 70-year-old Code of Responsible Practices for Beverage Alcohol Advertising and Marketing provides for a Code Review Board, comprised of senior member company representatives, which reviews complaints about advertising and marketing materials in the marketplace. Additionally, the Code includes an advisory board made up of outside experts from academia, government and broadcasting.

The report includes 15 complaints about the content or placement of specific distilled spirits print advertisements, marketing and website materials that ran in 2004. Each complaint summary in the report identifies the advertisement, advertiser, nature of the complaint, the Code Review Board decision and the subsequent action of the advertiser. The report also provides information on how to file a complaint.

The Federal Trade Commission, the lead Federal agency with advertising oversight, has commended the DISCUS Code on several occasions, including most recently in an FTC letter to industry critics, which pointed to the DISCUS Code as a model of self-regulation. Additionally, in its most recent Report to Congress (2003), the FTC stated that the distilled spirits industry's self-regulatory measures are "rigorous" and effective.

Future public complaint reports will be issued semiannually. To view the report of complaint decisions, go to www.distilledspirits.org.
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Title Annotation:DATELINE
Publication:StateWays
Date:May 1, 2005
Words:272
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