According to Stuart Elliott, WNBC-TV in New York is daring to run spirits ads.
The decision is a small but significant sign of changing attitudes toward advertising of products that many consider contentious. From 1948 until 1996, no TV station or network accepted liquor ads although distilled spirits were advertised in newspapers, magazines and billboards.
Today, hundreds of television stations and networks carry commercials for distilled spirits. But the four biggest broadcast networks, including NBC, do not. They remain skittish about critics who contend that opening television — still the most powerful advertising medium — to the marketers of distilled spirits will more readily expose those pitches to children and teenagers.
The commercials on WNBC, Channel 4, began appearing last Friday, without fanfare. Plans call for the spots to run through the new year on news, talk and sports programs. The spots are being sponsored by the Bacardi North America division of Bacardi & Company and feature brands like Bacardi rum and Grey Goose vodka.
So what’s a responsible partent to do? How about treating the remote like a loaded gun in the house?