fbpx

Home » D.C.-Area Chef Challenges Virginia Restrictions on Ads for Happy Hour Specials As Violation of First Amendment

D.C.-Area Chef Challenges Virginia Restrictions on Ads for Happy Hour Specials As Violation of First Amendment

by | Apr 1, 2018

According to a Competitive Enterprise Institute post, local D.C.-area chef Geoff Tracy is a bacon lover, popular food Instagrammer, and a budding legal activist who, aided by attorneys at the Pacific Legal Foundation, “is suing the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Alcohol Beverage Control Authority over its alcohol advertising ban:

“Award-winning restaurateur Chef Geoff Tracy owns three restaurants in Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. Only Virginia, however, restricts the way Chef Geoff advertises happy hour specials. While state law allows businesses to offer happy hour, it bans advertising happy hour prices, as well as the use of any terms other than “happy hour” or “drink specials.” Also, while restaurants may offer half-priced drinks, it’s illegal to call these specials “two-for-one.” In a lawsuit filed on behalf of Chef Geoff, [Pacific Legal Foundation] argues that Virginia’s happy hour advertising restrictions prevent restaurants from speaking freely and truthfully about their business—a clear violation of the First Amendment.”

The post also stated that in 2012 “he hired a sign-spinner to stand next to a stretch of Foxhall Road in Northwest D.C., near his Tenleytown restaurant, to alert drivers to a ticket-spewing speed trap monitored by a traffic camera.  But shouldn’t everyone be driving the posted speed limit, anyway, you ask? As Tracy told The Washington Post at the time, the placement was simply designed to generate additional tickets—and the city revenue that goes with them: “I haven’t gotten a speeding ticket in 21 years. With the new camera, I got 3 in 3 days. Ouch.”

“Now, of course, the issue involving the lawsuit is even closer to his heart. As a host of a popular happy hour scene at each of his restaurants, it’s obviously in his interest to be able to advertise his specials. But it’s in everyone’s interest that business owners be able to provide clear and accurate information about what they’re offering and how much—or how little—it’ll cost you.

“Commercial free speech is an important concept to stand up for. It benefits us all as consumers—and even as citizens, as our friend Adam Thierer memorably explained at Forbes.com a few years back.”

About the Author

Capitol Communicator

Capitol Communicator is a unique online and offline resource for Mid-Atlantic advertising, marketing, public relations, digital and media communications professionals. The e-magazine, e-newsletters and events bring together communications professionals, fostering community and providing important information; news; trends; education; and opportunities for networking, career enhancement, business exchange and showcasing great work. Visit www.capitolcommunicator.com to learn more.

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sponsors

Brand Creep

What if we use an asterisk?

SEARCH FOR ADVERTISING, MARKETING & PR AGENCIES, PROFESSIONALS AND SERVICES

Find out more  Powered by COMMUNICATIONSMATCHTM

REGISTER.
CHOOSE AN AGENCY OR INDIVIDUAL DIRECTORY OR COMPREHENSIVE PROFILE PLAN.

Find out more  Powered by COMMUNICATIONSMATCHTM

REGISTER.CHOOSE AGENCY SELECT
TO REQUEST MORE INFORMATION & STREAMLINE RFPs

Find out more  Powered by COMMUNICATIONSMATCHTM

CAPITOL COMMUNICATOR CAREER CENTER SEARCH RESULTS (JOBS IN MULTIPLE LOCATIONS)

MEDIA KIT

Recent Comments

Categories

Events

 

SUBSCRIBE