Newspapers Watch NBC Booze Ads

By: Todd Shields

U.S. Rep. Frank R. Wolf, R-Va., wants hearings on the propriety of airing liquor advertisements on TV, and said he may seek to regulate the practice.

Newspapers, traditionally wary of restrictions on advertising, are watching to see if Wolf can make headway, but are mainly staying clear of the fight sparked by NBC’s decision last month to accept such ads.

In recent years, alcoholic-beverage advertising has accounted for less than 0.5% of the expenditures on national ads in newspapers, according to figures compiled by the Newspaper Association of America. Of course, many papers do get a fair number of retail ads placed by liquor stores.

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