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NBC is pulling out of air hard liquor ads.
March 21, 2002 2:38 PM   Subscribe

NBC is pulling out of air hard liquor ads.
Citing congressional pressure and public outcry, NBC announced today it has reversed its alcohol advertising policy. The decision comes the same day MADD proposed new stricter rules on TV ads for all alcohol, including beer and wine, that are based on the NBC's now-scuttled "time, place and manner restrictions" set for the hard-liquor ads. (See also this AdAge story on MADD's proposal) A spokesperson for the Distilled Spirits Council called NBC's decision decision "unfortunate" and a "disservice to the American public."
posted by me3dia (19 comments total)

 
Is it just me, or is MADD more of an old-fashioned temperance union than anything else? There must be reforms specifically targeted against drunk driving that would have a greater impact.
posted by lbergstr at 2:47 PM on March 21, 2002


I could be more specific: I've always wanted a breathalyzer I could install in my car (we're in fantasyland here, I don't have a car, but my point stands) that would have an ignition kill on it. Pass the breathalyzer test or the car won't start. Wouldn't be foolproof, obviously, but it would probably help out a good number of complacent drunks who simply don't realize they're not fit to drive.

It's a silly example, but I do think there are ways MADD could help people who want to drink without driving drunk accomplish this. They just seem to be more interested in discouraging drinking, period.
posted by lbergstr at 2:53 PM on March 21, 2002


Actually lbergstr, there already is one
posted by ajayb at 3:01 PM on March 21, 2002


MADD works on the same principle as gun control advocates (see this thread): less drinking equals less drunk driving. Less advertising of liquor, in that same vein, should equal less drinking and therefore, less drunk driving. Whether this is actually true or not has never been proven, but it's certainly within MADD's mission to advocate for anything which they believe may reduce the rates of drunk driving, which remain unbelievably high.
posted by Dreama at 4:19 PM on March 21, 2002


MADD: if overbearing and protective is good enough for my little johnny (johhny - 32, lives at home, scared of girls) then it's good enough for the entire country!
posted by Mick at 4:32 PM on March 21, 2002


Bring back Prohibition! Seriously. Almost.
posted by davidmsc at 4:49 PM on March 21, 2002


Can someone please explain to me the correlation between television advertisements and actual sales of products and services? I mean let's just think outside the box for a second. Is there actually any proof that television advertising has any effect whatsoever on sales?

I can't recall myself or anyone I know ever seeing a beer commercial and thinking, "gee! I really need to go out to a bar and buy Coors!" If I try something new, it's usually on a friend's recommendation, or occasionally if the bartender lady's really cute I tell her I want to try something new and what does she recommend? I don't ever see a commercial about a Zima and then go out and buy one.

Who are these people who do, and do they actually have two brain cells to rub together?
posted by ZachsMind at 4:51 PM on March 21, 2002


Is there actually any proof that television advertising has any effect whatsoever on sales?

You're joking, right? Zachsmind, read this article. How the hell do you think NBC can pay these outrageous salaries? Advertisements. Do you honestly believe companies would pay for ads if they didn't earn it back from consumer expenditures?

Wow...
posted by BlueTrain at 5:09 PM on March 21, 2002


whoops...read this article, and this one as well.
posted by BlueTrain at 5:13 PM on March 21, 2002


Judging from what the yanquis in the office say, the problem isn't drink culture, it's car culture. It's 'driving to the nearest bar' culture, where there's no buses and few taxis. So why isn't MADD campaigning against car advertising?
posted by riviera at 5:25 PM on March 21, 2002


Zachsmind - would you have even heard of Zima, if it were not for advertising? I wouldn't have. And therefore, they may consider their advertising a success.

True, you may not be succeptable to advertising, and you don't go out and buy things because the ads say, "They're GREAT!", but I assume you have a brain. And as you've stated, there are some people out there without 2 braincells to rub together.
posted by Nauip at 5:36 PM on March 21, 2002


Ooh, bad typo: the headline was to read "NBC is pulling out of hard liquor ads." No air involved, 'cept maybe dead air.

Riviera, I think they'd more likely campaign *for* more public transportation, not against cars. And, in a way they do -- through their designated driver campaigns, they're trying to promote responsible driving.
posted by me3dia at 6:39 PM on March 21, 2002


Judging from what the yanquis in the office say, the problem isn't drink culture, it's car culture.

That really nails it. I don't think I've seen a MADD ad involving mass transportation. Its always about getting a designated driver and not about getting on the bus or on a cab. I've never even seen MADD advocate some sort of socialized drive home proposals. I'm not saying they don't, but their media impact, to me, seems very limited.

Considering how much alcohol gets taxed and the prices of liquor licenses a drive home service makes sense. Especially when you factor in the savings on less police patroling for drunks and court costs prosecuting them.
posted by skallas at 7:06 PM on March 21, 2002


If advertising was even half as effective as MADD seems to consider, why didn't everyone quit smoking after those infect-truth ads were on TV? Why is it that Canada has smoking levels similar to those in the US among teens even though cigarette advertising is banned there?

MADD is going after the wrong people here. Marketers probably have known for years that when you see an ad for something on TV (ohhh, lets say a Mars bar) that people aren't going to rush out and get it (people watching TV enough for the ads to be effective to that point are too sedentary to walk to the corner store). Instead, next time the consumer is at the point of deciding "what candy bar do I buy today?" they will think "Mars has peanut butter now... I wonder if I can find those here". Same thing at the bar -- you might try a Zima next time instead of a Bud. Either way you still get drunk!
posted by shepd at 9:39 PM on March 21, 2002


BlueTrain, we know people pay for advertising. We don't really know that it works in any meaningful sense. It's notoriously difficult to track from message to purchase, and one of the wag comments on banner ads was that advertisers were finally finding out, through low click-through rates, how little people pay attention to advertising in the first place. God knows if this collective delusion ever collapses, there's a lot of free entertainment we'll lose, but it's hardly proven beyond a doubt.
posted by dhartung at 6:28 AM on March 22, 2002


We should definitely limit more speech (advertisements are still speech, right?) about perfectly legal substances. I never tire of being scolded.
posted by Skot at 8:14 AM on March 22, 2002


dhartung, obviously radio and TV advertisements work, and have been for decades. I hardly believe that we need statistical analysis to tell us that if we hear or see something, next time we go shopping, we have that brand in the back of our minds.

Think mlife, Doritos (is that how you spell that chip), Coca-Cola, Pepsi...

mlife: no one liked the commercials, but EVERYONE knows it was AT&T

Doritos: two or three SuperBowls ago, with the supermodel who ate the chip as it shot out of the dryer

Coca-Cola: Polar bears on ice

Pepsi: You Got The Right One Baby, Uh Huh!

Obviously ads works. Banner ads, on the other hand, are still a relatively new form. Internet usage and bandwidth needs to increase before the net becomes nearly as popular as radio or television.
posted by BlueTrain at 11:06 AM on March 22, 2002


Forget my last comment, it's all circumstantial. Think of it this way...why does does television exist? Who benefits the most from TV? (and when I say TV, I'm speaking of prime viewing periods, such as 7-10 a.m. and 8-11 p.m.) The way I've seen TV for a few years now is simple: TV has three layers. The first layer, to sell us products. The second layer, to entertain us. The third layer, to mold our culture. Make no mistake, the first layer is why TV exists, but while we're watching, producers are able to entertain and mold our lives.
posted by BlueTrain at 11:12 AM on March 22, 2002


Please, give me a break.

This is just as hypocritical as tobacco companies funding ads to encourage kids not to smoke or Dubya Drug War ads trying to convince people that if you smoke a joint you must be supporting terrorism. Better that they run anti-asSUV ads, since gasoline consumption expenses are what really get funneled to the terrorists via Saudi Arabia, etc.

Drugs? Legalize all of them and tax the shit out of them. It's just common sense.

Anything else is just a waste of resources.
posted by mark13 at 1:10 PM on March 23, 2002


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