Three months after NBC decided to break away from a 54-year old voluntary ban on airing hard-liquor ads on network television, it has bowed to pressure from advocacy groups and lawmakers to halt the ads, Reuters reported on Thursday.

Groups including the American Medical Association and Mothers Against Drunk Driving criticized NBC when it decided to air the liquor ads beginning back in December.

The Los Angeles Times reported that “NBC executives realized that the company had more to lose in breaking this taboo than it had to gain.”
NBC acknowledged that a request from the House and Senate Commerce Committee to reconsider the December decision played a role in it dropping the liquor ads, according to the L.A. Times.

“We said we would do it as responsibly as we could,” Alan Wurtzel, president for research at NBC, told the New York Times. “After listening to the House and Senate, to the interest groups, we felt it was not appropriate to go to the next step at this point.”

Joseph A. Califano Jr., chairman and president of the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, lauded the decision.

“Alcohol is the No. 1 drug of abuse by far for American children,” Califano said in a New York Times article. “Keeping hard-liquor ads off broadcast television will help in the effort to curb underage drinking by removing the temptation and glamour.”

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