Virginia bans alcohol advertisements in college newspapers

A Virginia federal appeals court reinstated an Alcoholic Beverage Control Board ban on alcohol advertisements in student newspapers last week.

According to the Washington Post, the court cited a link between restricted advertising and reduced binge drinking.

Because of the ban, college newspapers can now only use the words “beer,” “wine,” “mixed drink” and “cocktail” in advertisements for restaurants. No mention of happy hours or drink specials are permitted.

In 2006, the campus newspapers at the University of Virginia and Virginia Tech filed a complaint against the ban, asserting that it violated the freedom of speech and that it lost each paper about $30,000 in advertising revenue.

The court ruling was 2 to 1 in favor of reinstating the ban, with the dissenting judge arguing that the majority of college newspaper readers are over 21 and questioning the evidence linking college newspaper advertisements to underage and abusive drinking.

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