The Distilled Spirits Council has described the San Francisco board of supervisors' decision to ban new contracts from allowing alcohol advertisements on city property as "a shame".

The board yesterday (6 January) approved an ordinance banning adverts for alcohol in places including newspaper racks, kiosks and public toilets.

The ordinance, introduced by San Francisco supervisor Ross Mirkarimi, mirrors tobacco ad bans and follows previously enacted bans on alcohol ads on the city's Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) and Municipal Railway (MUNI). "We put a cork in the bottle on alcohol ads with this legislation," Mirkarimi said.

Bruce Lee Livingston, executive director of alcohol industry watchdog The Marin Institute, welcomed the decision."The board took decisive action to protect youth from alcohol ads in any future contracts," he said. "But the progress is bittersweet since (advertising company) Clear Channel has a ridiculous city contract that will let them put up alcohol ads until 2023."

When contacted by just-drinks today, however, Frank Coleman, senior vice president at DISCUS, said: "It is really a shame (that) in a city that has one of America's most thriving nightlife and cocktail scenes, where the daily newspaper features some of the greatest cocktail writers in the country, that they have developed such an ambivalence as to adopt misguided denials of free speech that will have zero impact on underage consumption."

Violations of the ban on MUNI carry fines of US$5000 per advert.