Here we go again
Daniel L. Jaffe
For more than four decades, there has been
an ongoing battle in the United States to determine what
restrictions should be placed on advertisers in regard to
advertisements seen by children.
Back in the 1970's, the Federal Trade
Commission, utilizing its unfairness rulemaking authority,
seriously considered proposals to ban all advertising directed to
children. The Congress, however, eventually thwarted this effort.
Since that time, the battle has transmuted
into a debate over whether limitations should be placed on
advertising of adult products because they also will be seen by
Now this issue is rapidly heating up once
again. The American Medical Association recently called for a ban
on all alcohol beverage advertising on the broadcast and cable
media before 10pm, at which time apparently the AMA presumes all
those under 21 will be safely tucked in bed. Mothers Against
Drunk Driving (MADD) went even further. MADD not only called for
time restrictions, but also demanded that this advertising never
be broadcast to a viewership that comprised an audience of less
than 90 percent adults twenty-one years old or older.