San Francisco Supervisors Approve Health Warnings on Beverage Ads

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors gave initial approval to an ordinance on June 9 to require labels on advertisements for beverages, including certain sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, and iced teas that contain more than 25 calories from sweeteners per 12 ounces. Labels must include a warning that beverages with added sugars contribute to obesity, diabetes, and tooth decay.

The ordinance, which covers advertisements on billboard or posters, on structures such as sports arenas or transit shelters, and on transit vehicles or taxicabs, sets text and visual requirements for the label and establishes that advertisers may be penalized for violations. Milk, infant formula, and 100% fruit and vegetable juices are exempt from the labeling requirement. The ordinance does not cover ads in print publications, online, or on television. 

This is the first attempt to institute health labels for advertising on a local level for a specific category of food or beverage product. We are reaching out to our fellow association partners on how to respond to this issue. If you have any questions about the ordinance, please contact Dan Jaffe in ANA’s Washington office at 202.296.2359 or at djaffe@ana.net.