HUNDT SUGGESTS V-CHIP TO BLOCK TV LIQUOR ADS

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The Federal Communications Commission should look into using the V-chip to allow families to block ads for distilled spirits, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Reed Hundt proposed in a draft of a notice of inquiry.

In the nine-page document, sent to other commissioners, Mr. Hundt cites the suggestion contained in the Center for the Science in the Public Interest petition for a liquor-ad rulemaking.

Mr. Hundt suggests the technical feasibility should be investigated.

"With the advent of 'V-chip' technology, would it be possible to implement an encoded blocking system for advertisements?" Mr. Hundt asks.

In the draft he said that the main purpose of the inquiry would be to explore the subject of alcoholic beverage advertising.

OPENING AN INQUIRY

"There is a debate on the effects of advertising on underage drinking and the proper role of government in regulating advertising to prevent or mitigate these results. We seek here to explore the incidence of distilled spirits advertising on radio and television; the effects, if any, that such ads have on underage drinking; and, if the record reveals a basis for action, the available regulatory options and related legal issues."

Mr. Hundt suggested the inquiry seek information on which broadcasters have and haven't run liquor ads, where the ads have run and what audience they reach.

From other government agencies, he asks for views on whether "the broadcast of distilled spirits advertisements is in the public interest."

Mr. Hundt suggests FCC look at a variety of potential regulatory measures for spirits ads that have been proposed, including not only the V-chip but a broadcast advertising ban, the channeling of ads to specific time periods,

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