The obligatory link: Feds Continue To Assert World Jurisdiction
This is the kind of story that I would've normally missed. Small mercies, going in to work late due to the snow, I suppose. Anyway, the upshot of it is that the Japanese pitcher the Red Sox signed shot a TV commercial in Japan wherein he actually drank a beer. Now, supposedly that's against the rules on this side of the Pacific (for whatever reason...), but, as you can see in the commercial if you follow the link above and let it load up, it's obviously a Japanese-market CM. The post that got Mr. Balko at reason going, over at tothepeople.com, says it best: "If some little-known, nannying arm of the U.S. Treasury Department has any claim to jurisdiction over Japanese advertising that airs only in Japan, that's probably news to the Japanese."
Taking it further, from the Boston Herald article, "Asahi’s beer is No. 1 in overall sales in Japan and the ad campaign, which also features the Yankees’ Hideki Matsui, is nothing unusual for Japan, where athletes are often used in beer endorsements and can be seen drinking on camera. But in the United States, beer cannot be consumed in TV ads and Major League Baseball does not allow its players to endorse alcohol domestically. Those rules do not apply to international markets, however." Seems pretty straightforward to me. Clear, as it were.
It's actually not entirely goofy, for a TV spot out of Japan, I suppose. If you don't know what I mean, try this one on for size... it may well be the most amusing commercial I've ever seen outside of "herding cats".