Don't let our kids drown in Seagram's TV ads
An open letter to Seagram CEO Edgar Bronfman, Jr.

Dear Mr. Bronfman,

In June, when you broke the 48-year voluntary ban against hard-liquor advertising on TV, you made a deadly decision for America's youth -- the same deadly decision the beer and wine producers made before you.

We are writing to ask you -- as a father, husband, and corporate citizen -- to reverse your decision today and take your ads off the air.

Alcohol is already the drug of choice for your children. Eighty percent of all high school students have experimented with alcohol by the time they are seniors.

Alcohol is a factor in all leading causes of death for young people aged 15 to 24 -- including drunk driving, homicide, suicide, drownings, fires, and burns. Alcohol use also leads to more teen pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, and AIDS. Young people who drink heavily are more likely to become alcoholic and suffer multiple drug problems later in life. In short, alcohol is a major reason why the death rate for 15- to 24-year-olds is higher today than 20 years ago.

Mr. Bronfman, you say it's only fair to advertise your whiskey and vodka on TV because beer and wine companies advertise their products.

But what's best for our kids?

Instead of adding to the avalanche of beer advertising that now helps bury a tragic number of children, we ask you, in the name of true fairness, to exert responsible corporate leadership and immediately pull your TV spots off the air.

Let's work together to end the tragedy of teenage alcohol use.

Sincerely,

Robert C. Byrd, U.S. Senator
Peggy Charren, founder, Action for Children's Television
John Conyers, U.S. Representative
Robert L. DuPont, M.D., founding director, National Institute on Drug Abuse
Eni Faleomavaega, U.S. Representative
James V. Hansen, U.S. Representative
Maurice Hinchey, U.S. Representative
Martin R. Hoke, U.S. Representative
Eleanor Holmes-Norton, U.S. Representative
Sheila Jackson Lee, U.S. Representative
Marcy Kaptur, U.S. Representative
Joseph P. Kennedy II, U.S. Representative
Jean Kilbourne, media analyst
James Moran, U.S. Representative
Rob Portman, U.S. Representative
American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
American Academy of Pediatrics
American College of Nurse-Midwives
American College of Physicians
American College of Preventive Medicine
American Council on Alcohol Problems
American Muslim Council
American Nurses Association
American Public Health Association
American Society of Addiction Medicine
The Arc
Association of Teachers of Preventive Medicine
Center for Media Education
Center for Science in the Public Interest
Center on Alcohol Advertising
Children of Alcoholics Foundation
Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways
Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America
Consumer Federation of America
Corpus Christi Baptist Association
Hispanic Baptist Convention of Texas
Hispanic Ministerial Alliance, Corpus Christi, Texas
Institute for Health Advocacy
Join Together
Latino Council on Alcohol and Tobacco
Manocherian Foundation
Marin Institute for the Prevention of Alcohol and Other Drug Problems
National Association for Children of Alcoholics
National Association of African Americans for Positive Imagery
National Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors
National Association of Black Substance Abuse Workers
National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence
National Families in Action
National Family Partnership
National Organization on Adolescent Pregnancy, Parenting, and Prevention
Orphan Foundation of America
Public Citizen
RID-USA (Remove Intoxicated Drivers)
Scott Newman Center
Southern Baptist Christian Life Commission
Students Against Driving Drunk
Texans' War on Drugs
Texas Congress of Parents and Teachers
Trauma Foundation
United Methodist Church, Board of Church & Society, Board of Global Ministries