Lawmakers Demand NBC U-Turn on Liquor Ads

26 February 2002

US network NBC’s controversial decision late last year to accept ads for hard liquor [WAMN: 14-Dec-01] may become the subject of hearings in Congress.

That’s the wish of Senate Commerce Committee chairman Ernest Hollings and Representative Frank Wolf, who are considering whether to argue for further restrictions on TV spirits ads.

Wolf intends this week to send NBC a letter signed by ten lawmakers demanding that the network end its deal to broadcast liquor spots from drinks giant Diageo. If NBC refuses, the duo intend to investigate alternative guidelines, such as requiring alcohol advertisers to include health warnings in their commercials.

Such an approach did not go down well with the Distilled Spirits Council, whose president Peter Cressy claimed the current arrangement – whereby NBC also broadcasts ads with social-responsibility themes – is more effective than health warnings. “There is no reason for the government to further regulate our already carefully regulated industry,” he declared.

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