Meet with Legislators During July 4th Recess:
Call for a Congressional Hearing on ALL Television Alcohol Advertising

BACKGROUND: Despite NBC’s recent decision not to air hard-liquor ads, the number and frequency of alcohol commercials reaching young people on TV is rapidly – though quietly – expanding due to several developments:

1) Diageo’s recently announced new strategy to sidestep the networks and increase broadcast liquor ads by creating its own "unwired" network (which will reportedly cover 80% of the country);

2) Large TV advertising budgets (upwards of $450 million) for the growing number of new, liquor-branded "alcopops" or "malternatives" (such as Smirnoff Ice, Bacardi Silver, Captain Morgan Gold, Skyy Blue, etc.) which essentially promote liquor brands to youth under the same weak standards as beer, and:

3) Massive amounts (more than $700 million in 2000) of beer advertising continue to interest millions of underage people in drinking. Popular, glitzy, funny, hip, and memorable beer commercials provide a primary – and extremely powerful – source of "education" for young people about alcohol.

The upcoming July 4th Congressional recess presents a key opportunity to meet with your legislators when they are back in their Districts/States, to educate them about these issues and raise your concerns about the harmful impact of televised alcohol advertising on families and children, and urge Congressional action. Such meetings are especially important if your legislators sit on the House or Senate Commerce Committees (see links below).

ACTION NEEDED: Organize meetings with your Representative and Senators during the July 1-5, 2002 Congressional recess to discuss alcohol advertising concerns. Include your strongest and most influential local allies willing to speak out on this issue. Write to your legislators’ local (District/State) offices now to ask for a meeting during the July recess. Explain that the purpose of the meeting is to discuss your concerns about the harmful impact of alcohol advertising on television, and urge that Congress hold a hearing to examine this issue and explore potential remedies to better protect children and families. Follow up your letter with a phone call to the District/State scheduler and ask to set up the meeting.

[ Talking Points ] [ House Energy and Commerce Committee ] [ Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee ] [ Sample Letter Requesting a Meeting With Your Legislators ]
[ Examples of Print Liquor-Branded "Alcopops" or "Malternatives" Ads ]

June 2002