NFL Will Allow Liquor Ads For The First Time

Image courtesy of Chris Rief

Move over, beer: In what the league is calling a one-season test, the National Football League will allow the liquor industry to run ads during games this year. There are rules to this advertising game, however.

In tweaking its policy to allow its TV partners to accept commercials for distilled spirits, the NFL lays out a few ground rules, reports The Wall Street Journal:

• First, the NFL won’t accept more than four 30-second hard liquor spots per game, with a limit of two spots in any quarter or during halftime.

• Networks that run the ads can run two spots in pre game and post game programs that involve liquor as well.

• Sponsorships are not allowed whatsoever, so you won’t see Aaron Rodgers swilling whiskey on-screen anytime soon (unless your dream life is as active as mine, in which case there will also be copious amounts of cheese, compliments, and maybe a dance party).

• All ads have to contain a “prominent social responsibility message” and there can’t be anything football themed going on, or content that targets underage drinkers.

An NFL executive told the WSJ that although this is positioned as a seasonal test, the policy will likely become permanent.

This, of course, is likely not welcome news for the beer industry, which has been leaking customers to liquor in recent years.

The brewing bigwigs don’t sound too worried just yet, however.

“The NFL informed us of their decision yesterday,” an AB InBev spokesman said in a statement to AdAge. “We plan to meet with the league to discuss the new policy in more detail.”

MillerCoors said via a spokesman that “as the beverage of moderation, beer and football have been synonymous for decades. As long as we continue to differentiate our brands, promote them responsibly and advertise effectively, we will be just fine.”

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