Rev Ruling 54-326

Distilled Spirits Advertising

Section 5(f) of the Federal Alcohol Administration Act authorizes the issuance of regulations, among other things, to prevent consumer deception and to prohibit, irrespective of falsity, such statements pertaining to age, manufacturing processes, analyses, guarantees, and scientific or irrelevant matters as are likely to mislead, as will as statements that are false or misleading.

Section 64(a) of Regulations No. 5 prohibits the appearance in distilled spirits advertising of any statement that is false or misleading in any material particular. Section 64(d) prohibits any representation as to curative or therapeutic effect that is false or tends to create a misleading impression. Illustrations in advertising portraying athletic activities in connection with the advertised product, such as an illustration of a handball player drinking or preparing to drink the advertised product, are misleading in that they convey the erroneous impression that the use of the product is conducive to the development of athletic skill or physical prowess and the advertisement, therefore, violates the regulations.

Section 64(c) provides in part that if an advertisement of distilled spirits contains any statement or representation concerning age or maturity it shall include all parts of the statement, if any, concerning age and percentages required to be made on the label of the advertised product.

In view of this provision, it is held that a blended whisky advertisement which contains the statement "Compare the Age" must be revised either by eliminating this reference or by adding to it the age statement required to appear on the label of the product.

27 U.S.C. 205; 27 CFR 5.64