Before the
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Washington, D.C.

In the Matter of: 

Banning the Advertising        )
of Distilled Spirits in               )
Electronic Broadcast Media )

RM 96-_________________

-------------------------------------

PETITION FOR RULEMAKING BY THE STATE OF ALASKA
THE STATE OF ALASKA

                                                                                    Bruce M. Botelho
                                                                                    Attorney General

                                                                                                        Stephen C. Slotnick
                                                                                                        Assistant Attorney General                                                                                                           P.O. Box 110300
                                                                                                        Juneau, Alaska 99811-0300
                                                                                                        (907) 465-3600
Attorneys for the State of Alaska
Of Counsel:
John W. Katz, Esquire
Special Counsel to the Governor
Director, State-Federal Relations
Office of the State of Alaska   Suite 336
444 North Capitol Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20001

PETITION FOR RULEMAKING

SUMMARY

        The State of Alaska is requesting the Federal Communications Commission to adopt a regulation banning the broadcast advertising of distilled liquor. This regulation is necessary because a sudden change in policy by the distilled spirits industry leaves the States unable to cope with a serious threat to the health and safety of the citizens of the United States. Advertising of distilled spirits on television and radio will inevitably increase the use of this potent drug among the nation's young people. Alaska calls for rapid action by the Commission in order to maintain the status quo and provide a balance between the industry's need for increased profits and the States' needs to protect their vulnerable populations from harm.

        Under applicable law, only the Commission may take action to protect the public interest by preserving the status quo. The evidence is indisputable: alcohol abuse - especially among the young - represents a pervasive threat to public health and safety. Millions of children watch television and it has been repeatedly documented that what they see on television does significantly influence their behavior and their values. Alaska -- representative of the national problems with substance abuse -- has an agonized past and present relationship with alcohol. In order to secure the promise of the future, the strides that have been made in curbing alcohol abuse must not be erased by the opening of the nation's airwaves to distilled spirits advertising.

        This proposed regulation will save lives. The Commission should begin work immediately to ban broadcast advertisements of distilled spirits.


TABLE OF CONTENTS

Table of Contents..................................................................................i

SUMMARY............................................................................................ii

INTRODUCTION...................................................................................1

The Commission has jurisdiction and authority
to adopt a regulation prohibiting broadcast media
from advertising distilled spirits...........................................................2

The need for the proposed regulation results
from the distilled spirit industry’s unilateral decision
to reverse a longstanding policy and begin
broadcast advertisements...................................................................3

The proposed regulation is necessary to prevent
an escalation of alcohol abuse............................................................4

Alaska’s struggle with alcohol abuse highlights
a nationwide problem that demands this regulatory action..............8

CONCLUSION.....................................................................................12


Signers to Alaska’s Petition of the FCC (submitted 12/18/96)

State of Alabama
Bill Pryor, Attorney General

State of Michigan
Frank J. Kelley, Attorney General

State of Alaska
Bruce M. Botelho, Attorney General

State of Minnesota
Hubert H. Humphrey III, Attorney General

State of Arkansas
Mike Huckabee, Governor

State of North Dakota
Heidi Heitkamp, Attorney General

State of Delaware
Thomas R. Carper, Governor

Commonwealth of Puerto Rico
Pedro Rosselió, Governor

State Of Hawaii
Jo Ann Uchida, Executive Director
Department of Commerce & Consumer Affairs

State of Rhode Island
Jeffrey B. Pine, Attorney General

State of Iowa
Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General

State of Utah

State of Kansas
Carla J. Stovall, Attorney General

State of Vermont
Jeffrey L. Amestoy, Attorney General

State of Maryland
J. Joseph Curran, Jr., Attorney General