Social media has become a primary form of communication from person to person, and a novel way for businesses to market their products to individuals. To take advantage of this form of marketing, alcohol producers in California have backed Bill 780, which will allow them to communicate more freely with their customers over social media. This Bill, signed by Governor Brown, will become a law on January 1, 2016.
Prior to the passing of this law, alcohol producers could not directly divulgetheir product’s retailers. The idea was to avoid producers from providing anything of value to retailers, in this case, marketing promotion. The law was originally created to prevent larger alcohol producers from squeezing out smaller producers’ ability to advertise.
Though producers could not specifically say where their products were being sold, sampled, or featured, they could respond to direct inquiries from customers. Even then, however, the producers had to mention more than one retailer, so as to not show preference to any one in particular.
Social Media’s Involvement in Alcohol Promotion
As times have changed, however, social media has brought a new ability for smaller producers to market themselves. They can now compete with larger producers by reaching the masses of potential customers through social media. With the ability to identify retailers over social media, many producers believe they will not be crushed by larger competition, as they would have when the law was passed, post prohibition.
A call for the new law ramped up in 2014 when a local California winery used Twitter to promote a wine tasting event and was given a year of probation and the possibility of a revoked liquor license. Many saw these penalties as harming small producers, rather than aiding them, as was the initial goal of the law.
Under the new law, producers will be able to post information on retailers and events on social media, but still requires them to mention more than one. Many producers think this law is a step in the right direction, but are frustrated with the requirement of promoting multiple retailers. They claim that this would pose problems if retailers are limited in a particular area or if the character count is too long to post on some social media sights. The proponents of the law see social media not only as a marketing outlet, but as a customer service, as well.
This New Law Can Lead to Serious Problems
Already California has a high alcohol dependence rate which is 686, 000 people and also a 263, 000 Californians claim they have an illicit drug dependence. These statistics aren’t even accounted for people whom are younger than 26 years of age. When alcohol gets advertised on social media every day this can lead to many more people being dependent on this substance. This is why we have several drug rehabs located in California for anyone whom is in need of help for their addiction. A few centers that are popular are located in Santa Rosa, California and Sacramento, California.