Dec 7, 2017 - In keeping with the AGCO’s commitment to continuing to modernize its approach to regulating Ontario beverage alcohol sector, the AGCO is amending two policies to help minimize the regulatory burden on liquor manufacturers. Outlined below are the policy changes, which are effective immediately.

Changes to Advertising Value-Add Promotion Requirements

As part of its Advertising Guidelines for Liquor Sales Licensees and Manufacturers, the AGCO provides clear direction to manufacturers on the acceptable use of value-add promotions. Liquor manufacturers will now be permitted to offer value-add gifts to customers with a nominal value of up to 20% of the retail value of the liquor product purchased.

Prior to this change, the AGCO permitted value-add promotions only where the value-added item had a nominal value of up to 20% of the retail value price of the liquor product, up to a maximum of $5.00. The removal of the $5.00 value maximum will provide liquor manufacturers greater flexibility to provide gifts to customers that continue to reflect a nominal value relative to that liquor product’s retail price.

Additional policy guidelines applicable to value-add manufacturer promotions remain unchanged and can be found in the AGCO’s Advertising Guidelines referenced above.

Holiday Closing Requirements for Off-Site Winery Retail Stores

The AGCO will no longer mandate licensed off-site winery retail stores to be closed on Good Friday, Easter Sunday, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. As with all other retail stores authorized by the AGCO, these off-site winery retail stores will be permitted to operate on these holidays, unless otherwise restricted under the Retail Business Holiday Act, municipal bylaws, or other laws applicable to their business.

For more information on these changes, please email or call the AGCO’s Customer Service Department at 416 326-8700 (GTA) or 1 800 522-2876 (toll-free in Ontario).

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