Federal appeals court strikes down San Francisco’s law for warnings on soft-drink ads

On First Amendment grounds, a panel of the 9th Circuit federal appeals court ruled against a pioneer San Francisco law that  required warning labels about health risks on soft-drink ads. The judges argued that sugar is not the same as nicotine in cigarettes in that small amounts of sugar can be part of a healthy diet. They also said that the required warning label was too large and therefore chilled commercial speech. (Grub Street, September 20, 2017, by Clint Rainey)

The label San Francisco mandated for ads on billboards and bus stops read “WARNING: Drinking beverages with added sugar(s) contributes to obesity, diabetes and tooth decay.” The judges thought the warning would dominate, inundating the advertiser’s message with a debate on the unhealthy effects of sugary soft-drinks. (Courthouse News Service, September 19, 2017, by Paul Roupe)

For prior FAC coverage of the ordinance, click here and here.

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