WARN NBC NOT TO AIR LIQUOR ADS
Threaten to 'Step in to Protect the Public Interest'
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
General Electric Co.'s NBC a stern letter warning of possible
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
hard-liquor advertising or the reason that Congress steps
in to protect the
public interest and public airwaves by setting up a federal
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
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
for Smirnoff vodka Dec. 15 and can begin airing actual spirits
April. Guinness-UDV is the first liquor marketer to strike
a deal with NBC.
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.
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,
facing primary opposition this year. So the television network's
has thoughtfully organized a $1,000-a-plate group hug at NBC's
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.
Instead we were referred to the flack at NBC corporate. No
return call by