TO: FCC Petition Co-signers
DATE: June 2, 1997
RE: Letters Needed to Support FCC Inquiry of
Broadcast Alcohol Advertising
On June 19, the FCC commissioners will consider whether to begin an
investigation into broadcast alcohol commercials, in part in response to the petition we
jointly filed on April 24. The Commissioners are split 2-to-2 on whether to go ahead.
Chairman Reed Hundt and Commissioner Susan Ness support our call for the FCC to act, while
Commissioners Quello and Chong oppose any FCC action.
We think our best chance for another vote is Commissioner Quello,
who has made public statements against broadcast liquor ads, calling for responsive action
by the government. We need to contact Commissioner Quello within the next week to ask him
to support the Notice of Inquiry (NOI).
The decision on the NOI will actually be made well before the June
19 hearing -- sometime within the next 2 weeks -- so please write as soon as possible.
The Honorable James H. Quello
Commissioner Federal Communications Commission
1919 M Street NW
Washington, DC 20554
- Our petition asks the FCC simply to investigate broadcast alcohol
advertising because only then can the agency determine how to fulfill its obligation to
ensure broadcasters protect the interests of the public.
- The FCC has acted to shield children from harmful programming,
including obscenity and indecency, yet the agency is permitting advertising with the sole
purpose of enticing viewers -- including children -- to desire and consume a potentially
illegal and harmful product.
- The beer and wine industries alone poured $700 million into broadcast
advertising in 1996.
- For youth, alcohol use more than any other single factor is
responsible for more pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases, and HIV infection.
Alcohol is a factor in the three leading causes of death for youth aged 15 to 20 years:
unintentional injuries (including motor vehicle crashes), homicides, and suicides.
- In April, President Clinton urged the FCC to investigate the effects
of liquor ads on young people. Also, some two dozen U.S. Representatives, led by Joseph P.
Kennedy II (D-MA), have requested an FCC investigation of liquor advertising on radio and
- Twelve states and Puerto Rico have joined a petition to the agency
filed last summer by Alaska's Governor Knowles seeking a ban on broadcast liquor ads.
- Chairman Hundt and Commissioners Quello and Chong have all announced
plans to leave the FCC.
Where appropriate, please also ask elected officials to contact
Use the media (press releases and conferences; op-eds and
editorials; letters to the editor).
[ Letter to Comm. Quello from George