BEER, WINE ADS TO SKIRT SEN. HEARING

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The nearly $650 million in broadcast ads for beer and wine apparently will escape a congressional hearing on distilled spirits TV advertising.

The Senate Commerce Committee's subcommittees that were supposed to hold a hearing on TV liquor advertising Feb. 25 last week delayed the hearing and decided to drop beer and wine ads as a subject. The hearing is now slated for mid-March.

KEEPING FOCUS ON DISTILLERS

"I would like to keep the focus on distillers and broadcasters," said Sen. Conrad Burns (R., Mont.), chairman of the committee's communications subcommittee.

Sen. Burns said that in planning the hearing it became apparent the scope of the discussion had gotten too wide, and that he wanted to get the distilled spirits issues "ironed out."

The distilled spirits industry, led by Seagram Co., has changed its longtime policy against running broadcast ads, in part arguing that its competitors-beer and wine marketers-had no similar policy and, thus, an advantage.

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