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Rep. Fighting NBC's Liquor Move

12/18/2001 5:45 AM Eastern

Reacting to NBC's move to end a decades-old voluntary ban on hard-liquor ads,
a powerful House lawmaker is planning to introduce legislation this week
designed to overturn the network's decision.

Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) is preparing the bill, but his press secretary, Elyse
Bauer, could not provide any details other than that the measure would 'restrict
the ads in some way.'

Wolf is chairman of the Appropriations Committee, which approves the budget
for the Federal Communications Commission, which regulates the broadcasting
industry.

Last week, NBC said it would accept hard-liquor ads after 9 p.m., coupled
with a commitment from liquor companies to a four-month responsible-drinking
campaign. NBC is also insisting that the ads run during shows in which 85
percent of the audience is at least 21 years old and the actors in the ads are
at least 30.

Some NBC affiliates, including two stations in Utah, have already announced
that they won't air the liquor ads.

For some time, a few national cable networks and dozens of local TV stations
have been airing ads for vodka, Scotch whiskey and rum.

Bauer could not say whether the legislation would apply to cable and
broadcast networks.

'Obviously, it was precipitated by NBC's announcement. Things are still very
much in the works,' she added.

 

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