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2002
Stop Liquor Ads on NBC

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Swisher Ain't Sweet

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Marlboro Mild

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HOME > 2002 STOP LIQUOR ADS ON NBC > NBC PRESS CLIPS

CONGRESSMEN WARN NBC NOT TO AIR LIQUOR ADS
Threaten to 'Step in to Protect the Public Interest'
www.adage.com/news.cms?newsId=34115#
February 27, 2002
By Ira Teinowitz
WASHINGTON (AdAge.com) -- Thirteen congressmen have increased the pressure on
NBC to cancel plans to air liquor ads this spring. The congressmen have sent
General Electric Co.'s NBC a stern letter warning of possible recriminations if
the network goes ahead with its plan to air liquor ads in April. "We would hate
to see your network become the object of a public backlash against network
hard-liquor advertising or the reason that Congress steps in to protect the
public interest and public airwaves by setting up a federal regulatory system
for network advertising," the letter said. The letter is from U.S. Rep. Frank
Wolf, R-Va., who had had earlier written NBC, and is signed by him and others on
Capitol Hill.

'Responsibility' messages
NBC in December said it would allow distilled spirits marketers to begin airing
ads after 9 p.m. if they first run "responsibility" messages for four months.
Diageo's Guinness-UDV North America began airing a "drink responsibly" message
for Smirnoff vodka Dec. 15 and can begin airing actual spirits advertising in
April. Guinness-UDV is the first liquor marketer to strike a deal with NBC.

Rep. Wolf heads a panel of the House Appropriations Committee, which could hold
a hearing on liquor ads. Congressional passage of legislation on liquor this
year appears unlikely. NBC said the letter wouldn't prompt it to alter its
plans. In a statement, the network said it has developed a strict 19-point "protocol" for accepting liquor advertising. "We are sensitive to the issues surrounding liquor advertising on television," the network said.

From Washington Post's "Reliable Source," page C03 (2/28/02)
by Llyod Grove

"Amid the flurry of invitations that cross our desk we are pleased to receive
-- OK intercept -- NBC Public Relations honcho Bob Okun's summons to "a small
luncheon" here on March 19 for Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich). He's the Chairman of
the House Energy and Commerce Sub-Committee on Telecommunications, and he's
facing primary opposition this year. So the television network's chief lobbyist
has thoughtfully organized a $1,000-a-plate group hug at NBC's corporate offices
downtown. Putting the "finance" back in campaign finance reform, Okun says he
hopes to get eight fellow lobbyists to join him, maybe even the guy from United
Distiller and Vintners (whose fax invite we obtained). Yesterday we phoned a
spokesman for NBC News to obtain the journalistic perspective. No coment.
Instead we were referred to the flack at NBC corporate. No return call by
deadline time.



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