To the Editor:
Mr. Overfelt’s opinion piece, “HB433 Upholds Free Speech in Missouri’s Free Marketplace” was right to criticize Missouri’s current liquor laws as burdensome relics of prohibition.
Current law prevents alcohol retailers from advertising the sale price of their products, leaving businesses incapable of communicating special sales or offers, and consumers ill equipped to consider the value of their purchases.
The state law fails to address its declared goal of reducing underage drinking and curbing alcohol abuse. Evidence consistently shows that alcohol advertising only influences brand preference. Even the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) concedes there is “no reliable basis to conclude that alcohol advertising significantly affects consumption, let alone abuse.” Alcoholics aren’t dissuaded by a few extra dollars.
Consequently, retailers are unable to compete with each other, consumers are saddled with high prices, and no one is safer for it. H.B. 433 aims to lift this competition-stifling practice by permitting retailers to publicize their promotions and bring state liquor laws into the 21st century.