U.S. Representative Joseph Kennedy (D-MA) has introduced House Resolution 171, which calls on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to begin an inquiry into liquor ads on television and radio. The liquor industry, led by Seagram, broke the 48-year voluntary broadcast ad ban in June 1996. Over a year later, most broadcast and cable networks continue to refrain from accepting the ads while the liquor industry plans to step-up TV and radio advertising campaigns. The liquor ads now appear on as many as 50 TV and 50 radio stations across the country. The largest markets include Boston, Houston, San Francisco, the New York metro area, and Milwaukee.

H. Res. 171 responds to the concerns raised during a July FCC tie vote, which stalled a proposed Notice of Inquiry (NOI) into liquor advertising on TV and radio. The NOI would have prompted the FCC to conduct a public investigation into the issue in response to requests from President Clinton, Attorney General Reno, 15 state Attorneys General, former Surgeon General Koop, 26 Members of Congress, and more than 250 organizations representing over 30 million citizens from every state.

In voting against the NOI, two FCC Commissioners asserted that a Commission inquiry should be undertaken only in response to a Congressional call for action. H. Res. 171 is that call, and it is one of our best chances for a timely public forum on liquor ads on TV and radio.


We need to let our Representatives know that our kids are more important than the liquor and advertising industries. Please call your representative -- and encourage others to do the same -- to ask for endorsement of H.Res. 171.

U.S. Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121

Look for Representatives to return home during the up-coming recess: August 2 - September 2.
(Call your Representative's office for a meeting and a schedule of his/her public appearances)

The conclusion of H. Res. 171 states:

Be it resolved that the Congress of the United States urges the Federal Communications Commission to issue a notice of inquiry to seek comment and gather facts related to issues raised by the introduction of distilled spirits advertising on television and radio, with a particular focus on the effects of such advertisements on children and teenagers.

To endorse H. Res. 171