Agencies | Governor
Virginia Regulatory Town Hall

Final Text


Alcoholic beverage advertising on outdoor signs and billboards
Stage: Final

3VAC5-20-30. Advertising; exterior.

Outdoor alcoholic beverage advertising shall comply with 3VAC5-20-10, and shall be limited to signs and is otherwise discretionary, except as follows:

1. Manufacturers and wholesalers, including wineries and farm wineries:

a. No more than one sign upon the licensed premises, no portion of which may be higher than 30 feet above ground level on a wholesaler's premises;

b. No more than two signs, which must be directional in nature, not farther than 1/2 mile from the licensed establishment limited in dimension to 64 square feet with advertising limited to brand names;

c. If the establishment is a winery also holding a retail off-premises winery license or is a farm winery, additional directional signs with advertising limited to trade names, brand names, the terms "farm winery" or "winery," and tour information, may be erected in accordance with state and local rules, regulations and ordinances; and

d. Only on vehicles and uniforms of persons employed exclusively in the business of a manufacturer or wholesaler, which shall include any antique vehicles bearing original or restored alcoholic beverage advertising used for promotional purposes. Additionally, any person whether licensed in this Commonwealth or not, may use and display antique vehicles bearing original or restored alcoholic beverage advertising.

2. Retailers, including mixed beverage licensees, other than carriers and clubs:

a. No more than two signs at the establishment and, in the case of establishments at intersections, three signs, the advertising on which, including symbols approved by the United States Department of Transportation relating to alcoholic beverages, shall be limited to 12 inches in height or width and not animated and, in the case of signs remote from the premises, subordinate to the main theme and substantially in conformance with the size and content of advertisements of other services offered at the establishment;

b. Signs may not include any reference to or depiction of "Happy Hour," or references or depictions of similar import, including references to "special" or "reduced" prices or similar terms when used as inducements to purchase or consume alcoholic beverages, except that, notwithstanding the provisions of 3VAC5-50-160 B 8, a retail licensee may post one two-dimensional sign not exceeding 17" x 22", attached to the exterior of the licensed premises, limited in content to the terms "Happy Hour" or "Drink Specials" and the time period within which alcoholic beverages are being sold at reduced prices; and

c. No advertising of alcoholic beverages may be displayed in exterior windows or within the interior of the retail establishment in such a manner that such advertising materials may be viewed from the exterior of the retail premises, except on table menus or newspaper tear sheets.

3. Manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers may engage in billboard advertising within stadia, coliseums or racetracks that are used primarily for professional or semiprofessional athletic or sporting events.

1. No outdoor alcoholic beverage advertising shall depict persons consuming alcoholic beverages, use cartoon characters in any way, or use persons who have not attained the minimum drinking age as models or actors.

2. No outdoor alcoholic beverage advertising shall be placed in violation of § 4.1-112.2 of the Code of Virginia.

3. No outdoor alcoholic beverage advertising shall be placed on property zoned exclusively for agricultural or residential uses, or on unzoned property.

4. All outdoor alcoholic beverage advertising must also comply with the provisions of Chapter 7 (§ 33.1-351 et seq.) of Title 33.1 of the Code of Virginia and the regulations of the Virginia Department of Transportation promulgated pursuant thereto.

5. No alcoholic beverage manufacturer, importer, or wholesale licensee may sell, rent, lend, buy for, or give to any retail licensee any outdoor alcoholic beverage advertising, any billboard placements for such advertising, or in any other way confer on any retail licensee anything of value that constitutes outdoor alcoholic beverage advertising.

6. No alcoholic beverage manufacturer, importer, or wholesale licensee may engage in cooperative advertising, as defined in 3VAC5-30-80, on behalf of any retail licensee.

7. No alcoholic beverage manufacturer or importer may require a wholesale licensee to place outdoor alcoholic beverage advertising or exercise control over the funds of a wholesale licensee for any purpose, including but not limited to the purchase of outdoor alcoholic beverage advertising.