Case Detail

American Beverage Assn. v. City and County of San Francisco
On September 19, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit enjoined enforcement of a San Francisco ordinance that required advertisements for sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) to include prominent health warnings linking SSB consumption to obesity, diabetes, and tooth decay. The court held that requiring advertisers to include the controversial warning violates their First Amendment rights not to be compelled to convey the government’s message. The decision was a victory for WLF, which filed a brief urging the court to strike down the ordinance. The court agreed with WLF that although governments may require companies to include noncontroversial statements in their advertising and labeling (such as a list of product ingredients), they may not require inclusion of “controversial” statements without satisfying exacting First Amendment requirements. The court held that San Francisco’s warning was “controversial” because it was potentially misleading.
Case Status:
Victory. Monitoring for appeal.
More Information and Downloads:
9/19/2017: Download Decision
8/4/2016: Download the Brief

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