Friday, October 16, 2009

Portland: New Happy Hour Laws?

Posted by Kelly

Yesterday the OLCC announced that they will possibly be revamping their 24 year old laws regarding happy hour advertising, originally created to stop binge drinking. Currently the law allows advertising on the restaurants property, and of course limitations don't apply to food discount advertising. This has become harder and harder to enforce with the boom in social media causing restaurants to begin advertising discounts through Twitter, Facebook, and blogs paired with an economy forcing restaurants to promote specials in order to increase customers.

The OLCC is acknowledging that the laws are outdated and is considering allowing advertisements off property as long as they don't advertise specific prices. Under this new law a restuarant could advertise "discounted drink specials" or "cheap margaritas," but they would not be legally able to promote "$5 margaritas." This process takes 4 to 6 months so the decision won't be made until 2010. I wonder if they will have more success enforcing no prices on the ads rather than no off site advertising?

Interesting how Portland (Oregon) is possibly adopting more lax happy hour laws at the same time Massachussets is transitioning to stricter ones...