New Law on Winery Social Media Ads for Certain Retailer-Hosted Events
Governor Brown recently signed into law AB2452, a bill that grants wineries broader privileges in the use of social media to promote certain events held at retailer premises, such as winemaker dinners. The bill was introduced by Assembly member Cecilia Aguilar Curry, co-authored by State Senator Bill Dodd, and sponsored by the Napa Valley Vintners.
The new law amends three tied-house exceptions in the California ABC Act that govern the organization and promotion of certain events held at on- and off-premise retailers that involve supplier-side licensees (ABC Act Sections 25503.4, 25503.56, and 25503.57). Those laws restricted how the participating supplier could advertise and promote those events. For example, the advertisement could only list the name and address of the retailer and expressly prohibited pictures or illustrations of the retailer’s premises.
The new bill allows suppliers (including wineries) to now include the following in their advertisements of those permitted retailer-hosted events:
ADDITIONAL RETAILER INFORMATION – The supplier’s advertisement for the event can now include an expanded range of information about the host retailer (including the retailer’s website address and “other electronic media”) so long as such information is “relatively inconspicuous in relation to the advertisement as a whole.”
PICTURES & ILLUSTRATIONS – The new bill allows participating suppliers to include “pictures, illustrations, and depictions of the retailer’s premises, personnel, and customers” in the event advertisements. Videos, however, are expressly prohibited.
REPOSTING OF SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS – Participating suppliers are now allowed to repost social media posts that advertise the event, including posts by the host retailer, provided that the reposted advertisement complies with all other content restrictions in the ABC Act.
Wineries and other suppliers should note that these expanded advertising privileges only allows them to advertise in connection with specific events governed by ABC Act Sections 25503.4 (wine-related events, including winemaker dinners), 25503.56 (instructional tasting event at off-sale retailer premises under a Type 86 license), and 25503.57 (instructional events at on-sale retailer premises). It is not a blanket permission to begin photographing and posting about retailers on supplier social media accounts.
The new law goes into effect on January 1, 2019.
If you have any questions about the new law, tied-house issues, or winery use of social media, please contact John Trinidad.
DISCLOSURE: DPF represents Napa Valley Vintners on a variety of matters, and advised on the proposed legislation.