Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Federal Regulations

I just learned that the federal entity that oversees breweries has issued an Industry Circular that clearly spells out that "social media" is considered a form of advertising and therefore must comply with all laws, regulations or interpretations promulgated by the TTB, formally known as the Department of the Treasury Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau. (Try saying that three times quickly - on second thought, don't. It may cause nightmares.)

As a result of this new regulatory interpretation, you can expect to see a number of changes to Facebook posts, Twitter comments, Pinterest pictures, Tumblr Porn (no wait, that won't change), and even Blogs. For instance, starting tomorrow, every blog will start out with a warning that clearly states that pregnant women are no longer permitted to consume this or any brewery/winery/spirits sponsored blog without a note from their attending physician. Those under the age of 21 are similarly strictly prohibited from consuming such contents. Oh sure, we can send them to war, but don't you dare read this blog again until you are 21 or older!*

*Disclaimer - This joke is strictly a joke and is not intended to be taken seriously. We as a brewery and as citizens of this great country of ours are strictly in favor of reasonable consumption of jokes and blog material among consenting adults who have reached the age of majority, but are opposed to underage consumption of such humor. Don't let our attempts at humor suggest otherwise. 

Other changes you will now see will include certain disclaimers and warnings appearing prominently on each form of social media coming from an alcohol producer. This will be particularly tough on Twitter, where the mandatory warnings are 137 characters long. From now on, each brewery twitter feed will look like this:
  • Federally mandated warning – This Twitter comment is sponsored by an alcohol producer and is solely for consumption of those 21 or older.HEY  
  • Federally mandated warning – This Twitter comment is sponsored by an alcohol producer and is solely for consumption of those 21 or older.HI! 
  • Federally mandated warning – This Twitter comment is sponsored by an alcohol producer and is solely for consumption of those 21 or older.FUN 
  • Federally mandated warning – This Twitter comment is sponsored by an alcohol producer and is solely for consumption of those 21 or older.OH! 
  • Federally mandated warning – This Twitter comment is sponsored by an alcohol producer and is solely for consumption of those 21 or older.YA!
The industry lobbied for even one more character so we could include mandatory exclamation points with three letter words, but we just didn't win that one.  For some reason, though, pictures of girls in white one-piece swimsuits with the word "Budweiser" can still be attached to every tweet.

All I know for sure is that you will see a number of changes coming up to all social media in the near-term.  In anticipation and upon advice of counsel, we would like to make the following statement:
We hereby take back everything we ever blogged, tweeted, facebooked, myspaced (we really, really take back those things), linkedined or pinterested.  We take back every picture of someone drinking beer, smiling or appearing to enjoy our products in any way, shape or form.  We will be forthwith removing all statements of support for the great bars and restaurants that support the Drink Local effort (even though we still appreciate it) and will no longer provide information about where adults can find or consume adult beverages.  We will be moving our brewery to an undisclosed location and entry will only be allowed through knocking on a back alley door with a small opening in it, behind which a thick man in an suit will stand and only allow entrance if youse don't look like the coppers.
I know that some of these things seem drastic, but rules are rules, and besides, they're for your own good, right?

2 comments:

  1. Great blog about an absolutely oppressive set of regulations. Thanks for the laugh ... and the uncontrollable fist waving.

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  2. what tha'... Please forward my thank you fot Craig Pillar and Todd Grove for their willingness to put up with me for a while on Tuesday. Very much appreciate the conversation and advice. Thank you :-)

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