What Can We Do For You?
What Can We Do For You?
Advertising and Promotion
Unlike any other product in commerce, alcohol beverages in America are subject to a range of federal, state and local laws regulating the products’ advertisement and promotion. Additionally, trade associations impose their own voluntary guidelines on the promotion of alcohol products, often as a means of avoiding greater government regulation. Our Alcohol Industry Team counsels clients on this extraordinary range of laws and regulations, with guidance that encompasses:
- Federal advertising requirements imposed by the U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA);
- State alcohol marketing laws enforced by state regulatory agencies and attorneys general throughout America;
- Local ordinances that regulate billboards and other outdoor advertising, published and broadcast advertising, and licensed premises signage restrictions imposed by city, county, parish or municipal government;
- Evolving regulation of unlicensed third-party promoters who employ cutting-edge technology and innovative advertising to connect consumers with licensees for the promotion of lawful alcohol sales; and
- Voluntary industry advertising codes, such as those published and managed by The Beer Institute, The Brewers Association, The Wine Institute and The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States.
Our lawyers review television, radio, print, social media platforms, and Internet-based advertisements and promotional campaigns for compliance with government statutes, administrative regulations and agency enforcement policies. Members of our Alcohol Industry Team work closely with professionals from GrayRobinson’s Intellectual Property and Technology Law Practices to provide comprehensive advice on all aspects of preparing and implementing marketing, promotional and advertising concepts.
We also conduct litigation risk analyses under the Lanham Act and similar laws dictating fair trade practices and intellectual property rights. Team members have represented clients in federal unfair competition litigation, TTB enforcement actions, FTC investigations and state administrative proceedings arising from the advertising of alcohol beverages.
M&A, Antitrust and trade Regulation
As the Great Recession finally begins to recede, more and more industry transactions are coming off the sidelines and back onto the table of commerce. The members of our Alcohol Industry Team have extensive experience helping alcohol beverage companies, financial institutions and investment funds successfully execute large, complex mergers, from the Buyer, Seller and Lender sides of the table. We also counsel alcohol beverage clients in the areas of antitrust and competition, and provide guidance in responding to government investigations throughout the United States. GrayRobinson is experienced in all facets of antitrust and competition law, including antitrust litigation, merger and acquisition analysis and defense, antitrust counseling and consumer protection. We represent clients in civil antitrust litigation in U.S. federal and state courts, and frequently represent parties before agencies such as the TTB and the FTC. Many of our lawyers previously served in government enforcement bodies, as well as Attorneys General offices, providing the Firm with critical insight into the internal workings of the U.S. Department of Justice and the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG).
Litigation and Dispute Resolution
Every member of the alcohol industry faces potential or actual litigation. For example, industry members may encounter distributor termination disputes, dram shop and product liability claims, employer-employee relations problems, or general commercial conflicts, all of which exist in today's business environment. We work with alcohol industry clients to address these issues and avoid litigation whenever it is practical and in the client's best interest. When litigation is inevitable, we endeavor to protect our client's interests with veteran trial lawyers who have years of bench and jury trial experience in both state and federal courts. However, because a courtroom trial represents only one method of dispute resolution, our law firm works with clients to resolve contested disputes through mediation, arbitration, and other alternative dispute resolution services.
Whether at the federal or state level, ongoing legislation and rule making continually change the "rules of the game" for the alcohol industry. All members of the industry need to monitor these constant changes. Some members require more than monitoring, finding it valuable to have a say in the direction of legislative and regulatory changes. We work with clients to monitor existing and proposed legislation, as well as to advocate client positions before legislative bodies.
Taxation is a critical component of any business operating in the alcohol industry. Whether at the federal or state level, GrayRobinson lawyers and professionals have experience in advocating professional tax policies before federal and state legislatures and agencies, as well as offering tax compliance guidance and structuring transactions to facilitate tax planning and tax avoidance.