House puts alcohol billboard advertising bill on the rocks
The House voted 193-164 Wednesday to kill Senate Bill 329 which would have allowed liquor to be advertised on billboards, something now prohibited under the law.
“If you want to advertise liquor, beer, wine, cheese, bread or tomatoes you can on TV and radio, magazines and newspapers, but when it come to billboards, it’s against the law,” said Rep. Joel Winters, D-Manchester. “This bill is good for local business, it’s good for people who make billboard and it’s good for civil liberties.”
But those wanting to kill SB 329 said it would allow unregulated advertising of alcohol.
“The most outrageous liquor ads you have ever seen could be coming to a billboard near you,” said Rep. Kermit Williams, D-Wilton.
Williams argued local regulations and the cost of constructing and locating billboards make it almost impossible to put up new ones today.
Rep. John Hunt, R-Rindge, asked what was wrong with a small New Hampshire brewer putting up a sign to advertise their location. But he noted the Liquor Commission has said those signs cannot have anything to do with alcohol.
“The law is wrong,” Hunt said. “It is time to correct this.”