Washington Focus

Here we go again

Daniel L. Jaffe
ANA Washington

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 underage audiences.

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.