No government regulations prevent advertisers from showing people drinking beer on television, although most producers avoid it.
The traditional industry guidelines that recommend against showing alcohol consumption in commercials date back to the end of prohibition.
Beer commercials have a long history, stretching back all the way back to the adoption of television sets into American homes. Back then, drinking on air was seen as a major faux pas for a nation recently emerging from prohibition .
The Federal Trade Commission goes into further detail, explaining that the First Amendment’s protections for free speech limit the government’s ability to regulate alcohol advertisement.
No laws are preventing private citizens from drinking on live TV. Still, just as with advertising, many television agencies show a lot of restraint when drinking on air because of their sensitivity to public perception.
It is entirely legal to show people drinking beer on broadcast television. In fact, an estimated 53% of TV programming shows alcohol use.
Movie producers are well within their rights to portray actors consuming alcohol in film. In fact, alcohol use is even more common in theaters than on television.
Multiple peer-reviewed articles published between 2005 and 2013 show that alcohol advertisements regularly breach voluntary restrictions developed by advertising agencies.
Though the government has no authority to regulate advertising due to first amendment protections, there are a few ways that lawmakers and marketing agencies could work together to help encourage more consistent self-regulation.