From: George Hacker
Re: Possible FCC Inquiry -- Request for Letters
Date: October 24, 1996
Many broadcasters who have accepted the ads claim that they won't run them until 9:00 P.M., when fewer children are watching. Unfortunately, children and teens are constantly part of the audience. According to Nielsen Media Research, 18 million kids between 2 and 17 watch television between 9:00 and 9:30 P.M., the most popular prime-time segment. Those children account for 31% of all U.S. kids in that age group, and they comprise more than 17% of the viewing audience at that time. Just as beer ads reach millions of children throughout the day, the placement of the new liquor ads will do nothing to assure that they will not appeal to substantial numbers of young people. Such advertising, which breaches 50 years of adherence to a voluntary ban on broadcast liquor ads, represents a serious shortfall in broadcasters' compliance with statutory public interest responsibilities they shoulder in return for the use of public airwaves.
A recent poll from Eisner & Associates, a Baltimore advertising agency, reveals that most Americans are concerned about the prospect of liquor advertising on television. When exposed to the concept, 56% of the survey sample expressed concern about the ads, including 23% who said they were angered by them. Of those who noted concern about the ads, 78% believe the ads will encourage young people to drink, 71% think the ads will lead to more alcoholism, and 59% believe that liquor advertising may result in more drunk driving.
You can help to encourage the Federal Communications Commission to act to protect children from liquor ads on television. Please write today to Chairman Reed Hundt, Federal Communications Commission, 1919 M Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20554, supporting his statements challenging the ads and urging him to seek public comment and hold public hearings on the issue.
Send copies of your letter to:
Representative Edward J. Markey (D-MA, 7th District), Ranking
Alcohol Policies Project
Thank you for your assistance. Please redistribute this memo to others, encouraging them to express their position too.