Purpose of Practice

To reduce the amount of alcohol advertising to which youth are exposed.

Description of Practice

Based on research of best practices related to alcohol marketing, the WSLCB adopted changes to rules regarding the advertising of alcohol. Through the rules process, stakeholders were solicited for input. Stakeholders included the prevention community, youth, retailers, distributors, etc. Modifications were made based on stakeholder input. The prevention community in particular was a vocal force in supporting the changes. Over 500 comments were received from them during the process. The approved changes included: -Limits to four the number of signs advertising alcohol brand names and manufacturers that are affixed or hanging in the window or on the outside of stores and other premises visible from the right of way. -Restricts the size of alcohol signs visible from the outside of retail licensed premises to 1,600 square inches. -Specifies the distance from schools, places of worship, playgrounds or athletic fields where advertising is allowed by replacing the former term " close proximity" with the new "500 feet." -The rules apply to signs at civic events where alcohol is served, such as beer gardens, and also clarify state law regarding sponsorships at civic events. Alcohol promotional items may only be given to people who are 21 and older.

Success or Improvements

The rules change has significantly reduced the amount of outdoor advertising to which children and youth are exposed. In addition, the change has resulted in a gre~ter number of community coalitions working with retailers to implement the rule changes. Many coalitions have developed a way to recognize or thank those retail outlets who took quick action to reduce their signs. Compliance continues to be monitored, and individuals can report violations via the WSlCB website.


2009-2010 Recognition Award presented to the Liquor Control Board and the Department of Social and Health Services Division of Behavioral Health and recovery "Enforcing Underage Drinking Laws Program" for innovation and perserverance in reducing underage drinking.


Name: Pat Kohler 
Agency: Washington State Liquor Control Board 
Address: P.O. Box 43080, Olympia, WA 98504 
Tele: 360-664-1703 
Email: pak@liq.wa.gov