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Counter ads to booze spots gain support

WASHINGTON — Just two days after FCC chairman Reed Hundt first suggested a rule that would require broadcasters to air an anti-substance abuse commercial for every alcohol commercial aired on television, a coalition of 25 groups petitioned the Federal Communications Commission to make the proposal a reality.

The filing sent a chill down the spine of the beer and wine industries, which had hoped to avoid being sucked into the ongoing controversy surrounding hard-liquor advertising on TV.

“We have a history of responsible public-service announcements on radio and TV,” Jeff Becker of the Beer Institute told the Associated Press. Becker said his industry opposes the coalition’s efforts.

National Assn. of Broadcasters prexy Eddie Fritts also opposes the proposal. “There is absolutely no need for counter advertising,” Fritts said.

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