GUINNESS-UDV TO TALK TO NETWORKS ABOUT LIQUOR ADS

With NBC on Board, Marketer Approaches ABC, CBS

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BOSTON (AdAge.com) -- Diageo's Guinness-UDV North America says it soon will talk with ABC and CBS about airing its spirits ads, now that General Electric Co.'s NBC has given the thumbs up.

A spokesman for UDV, soon to be the country's largest spirits purveyor, said he has no time frame for the discussions.

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He would not comment on which brands will head to TV, but it is reasonable to assume that in addition to Smirnoff vodka the marketer will look at spots for its target brands -- Johnnie Walker scotch, Baileys Irish cream liqueur, Jose Cuervo tequila and Tanqueray gin.

The spokesman said the company focused on NBC to air its ads because of the network's high adult ratings.

Until Saturday, networks had declined to accept spirits advertising, though some cable stations have been running liquor ads since 1996.

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