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Ex-health secretary not on NBC's wagon - Broadcasting & Cable

Ex-health secretary not on NBC's wagon

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Joseph Califano, former secretary of health, education and welfare, blasted
NBC's new alcohol-advertising policy in an editorial in Tuesday's Washington
Post
.

'NBC's decision exposes the false promise of self-regulation when a network
is faced with plummeting advertising revenues and profits. It is attempting to
dress its decision in the sheep's wool of responsibility by claiming to have a
`pretty strict' set of guidelines to protect children. But in fact, the
guidelines are a sham, with more holes than a brick of imported Swiss cheese,'
Califano wrote.

He also mentioned that Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) plans to introduce legislation
that would forbid broadcast networks from running liquor ads.

Wolf's office confirmed that such a bill is in the works, although it is not
ready to be introduced.

An NBC executive said most politicians have reacted positively to its
announcement and are pleased that the network is taking pains to act
responsibly.

'We were willing to expend some political capital to lead our industry in an
extremely responsible way,' the executive said.

NBC even got some lukewarm praise from the conservative Parents Television
Council.

'While the full implications of this move remain to be seen, the Parents
Television Council is encouraged by NBC's initial efforts to establish
responsible guidelines for their advertisers,' PTC founder Brent Bozell
said.

'We will monitor these liquor-ad placements and speak out, loudly, if NBC
breaks its word,' he added. 'We will not hesitate to speak out against any
inappropriate marketing scheme designed to corrupt our children and
families.'

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