Mailing Date: January 16, 2013

Telephone:
717-783-9454
FAX:
717-787-8820


David Romine
Alcohol Beverage Specialist
Kalik Lewin
4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 400
Bethesda, MD  20814
VIA E-MAIL: dromine@kaliklewin.com
 
          RE:  Old Milwaukee Mail-in Rebate
 
Dear Mr. Romine:
 
ISSUE:  This correspondence is in response to your e-mail sent January 7, 2013, wherein you request approval to conduct a mail-in rebate promotion in Pennsylvania.  According to the point-of-sale (“POS”) material, the promotion begins March 1, 2013, and runs until April 30, 2013.  The promotion offers consumers a rebate of four dollars ($4.00) by mail on the purchase of four dollars and one cent ($4.01) worth of fresh or frozen pizza along with a twelve (12)-pack or larger of Old Milwaukee®, Old Milwaukee® Light, or Old Milwaukee® NA beer.  The rebate form states that in Pennsylvania the rebate will be applied to the beer purchase.  In order to receive the rebate, consumers must send the official mail-in rebate offer form, the UPC symbol from the beer package, and the original cash register receipt with the qualifying pizza product circled, to the address specified on the rebate form.
 
The promotion is open only to legal U.S. residents who are twenty-one (21) years of age or older, and there is a maximum of one (1) rebate per individual, household, family, or street address.
 
OPINION: This office has reviewed the proposed promotion.  Section 493(24)(i) of the Liquor Code generally prohibits licensees from offering anything of value to induce directly the purchase of alcoholic beverages.  [47 P.S. § 4-493(24)(i)]. 
 
However, section 493(24)(i) allows for manufacturers and agents of manufacturers to offer monetary rebates on purchases of malt or brewed beverages through distributors and importing distributors.  [Id.].  It is permissible, under section 493(24)(i), to offer rebate coupons on malt or brewed beverages that are conditioned on the purchase of non-alcoholic products, such as the “fresh or frozen pizza” listed on the rebate form.  Such rebate coupons must make it clear that the rebate is being offered on the malt or brewed beverages products, not the non-alcoholic products, and the rebate may not exceed the cost of the alcohol purchased.  The POS material that you provided makes this sufficiently clear.
 
Furthermore, mail-in rebates on malt or brewed beverages are permissible only if those products are purchased on distributor or importing distributor premises, and those types of licensees must sell by the case.  A “case” is defined as a package prepared by the manufacturer for sale or distribution of twelve (12) or more original containers totaling two hundred sixty-four (264) or more fluid ounces of malt or brewed beverages, excepting those packages containing twenty-four (24) or more original containers each holding seven (7) fluid ounces or more.  Thus, your proposed promotion is only permissible with regard to purchases of case quantities, as defined above, at distributor licensed premises.
 
Therefore, it would be permissible for your client to conduct its promotion in the Commonwealth, as indicated above, in reference to the area checked below:
 
      
retail licensed premises.
 X  
distributor licensed premises.
      
both retail and distributor licensed premises.
      
the Board’s wine and spirit stores, subject to approval of the Bureau of Product Selection.
      
other – Internet, text messaging.
 
Finally, please be advised that prior approval of malt or brewed beverages POS material and prior approval of retail licensed premises POS material are no longer required.  However, the requirement for prior approval of POS material intended for use in the Board’s wine and spirits stores from the Bureau of Product Selection remains.  The total cost of all POS advertising material relating to any one (1) manufacturer at any one time may not exceed three hundred dollars ($300.00) on a retail licensed premises.  [47 P.S. § 4-493(20)(i)].
 
THIS OPINION APPLIES ONLY TO THE FACTUAL SITUATION DESCRIBED HEREIN AND DOES NOT INSULATE THE LICENSEE OR OTHERS FROM CONSEQUENCES OF CONDUCT OCCURRING PRIOR TO ITS ISSUANCE.  THE PROPRIETY OF THE PROPOSED CONDUCT HAS BEEN ADDRESSED ONLY UNDER THE LIQUOR CODE AND REGULATIONS.  THE LAWS AND POLICIES ON WHICH THIS OPINION IS BASED ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE BY THE LEGISLATURE OR THE PENNSYLVANIA LIQUOR CONTROL BOARD.
 
Very truly yours,
 
 
 
FAITH S. DIEHL
CHIEF COUNSEL
 
cc:     Pennsylvania State Police,
                   Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement
         
LCB Advisory Opinion No. 13-010

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