You Can’t Tag This

Credit David Woo. Creative Common licensed.

Credit David Woo. Creative Common licensed.

Think before you post, tag, tweet, or instagram.

Florida beverage manufacturers want to maintain good relationships with the bars, tasting rooms, and restaurants that sell their products. As a manufacturer, it’s natural to want to support the vendors that support you. But when it comes to promoting vendors on social media, Florida beverage manufacturers must use caution.

Florida’s Tied House Evil statute prohibits a manufacturer from engaging in cooperative advertising with a vendor. Not surprisingly, the statute doesn’t tell us what it means by “cooperative advertising.” However, in a 2014 declaratory statement, the Florida Division of Alcoholic Beverages & Tobacco (ABT) ruled that Facebook posts by a manufacturer’s representative supporting a vendor’s tasting event was cooperative advertising that violated the Tied House Evil statute.

The ABT’s 2014 ruling strongly indicates that a manufacturer cannot use social media to promote a vendor in anyway, nor can a third party  employed by the manufacturer.