NBC Affiliate in NYC Urged To Reconsider Liquor Ads

Statement of CSPI Alcohol Policies Project Director George A. Hacker


WNBC's acceptance of liquor commercials is bad news for parents and bad news for those working to prevent and reduce alcohol consumption among underage persons. Although the ads will air only after 11 p.m., when audiences are mostly adult, substantial numbers of young people will be exposed to those additional inducements to drink. There is reason for concern, given that recent research has documented the association of increased exposure among teenagers to alcohol advertising and an increased likelihood of heavy drinking. The addition of more advertising for alcoholic beverages can only contribute negatively to public health and safety.

Alcohol use is the third leading preventable cause of death in the United States, and is associated with approximately 75,000 deaths per year. Underage drinking accounts for some 20 percent of all alcohol consumed in the United States, and in 2004, there were over 142,000 alcohol-related emergency rooms visits by underage youth.

We hope WNBC reconsiders this move and that other stations and networks don't get in the business of hawking hard liquor to youngsters.