TV ALCOHOL ADS UNDER FIRE IN CALIF. ASSEMBLY

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A California resolution calling for the alcoholic beverage industry to "ban advertising on television in which the audience is predominately under the age of 21 years" has sailed through a committee of the state Assembly with only a single negative vote.

But the resolution faces a tougher test from a second committee it must clear before reaching the entire Assembly.

Even if the resolution is passed by the Assembly, it is not a law-and thus not enforceable.

"But if the resolution does pass, and . . . the alcohol industry keeps using frogs and the like in advertising, I might very well come back and introduce a law about the matter," said Republican Assemblyman Bruce Thompson, who is co-sponsoring the resolution with Don Perata, a Democrat.

INDUSTRY OPPOSITION

"We are strongly opposed to the proposed resolution," a spokesman for the Wine Institute said. He added that "there is no truth" to the underlying premise of the resolution, that alcohol marketers target TV spots to programs with audiences predominantly made up of those under 21 years of age.

The California Broadcasters Association was also lobbying against the resolution.

The resolution said "studies by Advertising Age and Competitive Media Reporting revealed that large numbers of alcohol advertisements are shown during programs viewed by a high percentage of minors."

In fact, what Advertising Age did report, using CMR data, was that some beer commercials that ran on MTV between Sept. 1, 1996, and Sept. 7, 1996 were shown in time periods in which half or more of the audience was below the legal drinking age (AA, Jan. 6).

Most of those ads were from Anheuser-Busch and Miller Brewing Co. Neither company currently advertises on MTV.

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