Alcohol Ads Staying Off New Hampshire Billboards

CONCORD, N.H. – It will remain illegal to advertise alcohol products on New Hampshire billboards.

The New Hampshire House voted 193-164 to kill SB 329, a bill aiming to eliminate restrictions on brand alcohol billboard advertising.

Passage of SB 329 would have exposed youth to unavoidable solicitation for alcohol products along roadways. Linda Saunders Paquette, executive director of New Futures, applauded the House’s decision.

“Community coalitions and local groups work daily to prevent and reduce underage drinking and excessive alcohol consumption, we’re grateful to have the Legislature recognize and support those efforts,” Paquette said.

New Hampshire alcohol billboards

Local opposition to the bill came from New Futures, the Department of Health and Human Services, Dover Youth to Youth, Merrimack High School SADD, and the Governor's Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention, Intervention, and Treatment.  The NH Beer Distributors and the Granite State Brewers also opposed advertising alcohol on billboards in their home state.

Current law permits local breweries, wineries, and other businesses to advertise on billboards as long as the advertisement does not include a picture of the product or brand. Scott Schaier, executive director of the Beer Distributors of NH, mentioned that the NH beer industry wants to be part of the solution. 

“Our beer distributors here in NH are committed to being part of the solution to underage drinking and we take our responsibility to protect our community very seriously,” Schaier said.

Support for SB 329 came from CBS Outdoor, a national outdoor advertising firm, and the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, whose brands would have appeared along New Hampshire roadways if SB 329 passed.