Liquor Advertising

All liquor advertising must comply with

  1. Liquor Control and Licensing Regulation, and
  2. the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission's Code for Broadcast Advertising of Alcoholic Beverages.

Persons who do not hold a liquor licence may advertise liquor but not brands, manufacturers, or prices.

Signs and advertisements cannot:

  • Encourage people to drink liquor or to drink irresponsibly (ads that mention price must take this into account; if a licensee's price advertising encourages or results in patrons drinking to excess, the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch can prevent the licensee from including liquor prices in future advertising)
  • Show people who are drinking liquor, are intoxicated, or are behaving irresponsibly or illegally
  • Associate liquor with driving
  • Be directed at minors or placed in locations used or visited mostly by minors, such as video arcades and playgrounds
  • Depict liquor as a necessity, a key to social acceptance or personal success, central to the enjoyment of an activity, or as a status symbol

In addition:

  • Ads for bars and winery lounges cannot use pictures of minors (anyone under the age of 19) or of personalities, images or activities that may appeal to minors
  • Ads for bars, winery lounges and restaurants cannot show people with liquor unless there is also food in front of them
  • Ads for restaurants must make clear that serving food is the restaurant's primary purpose
  • Ads for companies that make beer, wine or spirits cannot be shown on a theatre screen before a movie with a young target audience

Internet Promotions

Licensed establishments may use the internet as part of their advertising and sales strategy. However, internet-based retail liquor sales without a licence or appointment from the Liquor Distribution Branch—what are commonly referred to as “virtual liquor stores”—are not permitted.

If a Liquor Ad Concerns You

If you see a liquor ad or Internet sales promotion that seems out of line with the Liquor Control and Licensing Regulation, please Contact Us.

You will need to describe the ad and tell us where and when you saw it. We investigate all complaints, and if we discover the ad violates regulations we may take enforcement action.