March 28, 2006

Legislative Activity

To: AAF California Advertising Clubs

From: Clark Rector, Senior Vice President – State Government Affairs

Re: Anti-advertising legislation

California Senator Carole Midgen has introduced Senate Bill 1180, which would prohibit the placement of alcoholic beverage advertising in media with an expected youth audience of 15 percent or more.

The bill will be before the California Senate Government Organization Committee on April 4. It is very important that members of the committee hear from the in-state advertising industry that the legislation should be defeated. Members of the committee and their contact information are listed below.

Senate Bill 1180 should be opposed because:

  • It is unnecessary. The alcoholic beverage industry advertises to adult audiences. At the suggestion of the Federal Trade Commission, the industry places advertising only in media where at least 70 percent of the audience is expected to be over the age of 21.
  • The Federal Trade Commission has found that "Company documents show many examples of ad concepts being rejected, and ad content being modified, to reduce the likelihood of appeal to minors."
  • While the industry's voluntary advertising restrictions work well, serious First Amendment issues would be raised by a government mandate.
  • While great strides have been made in the field of audience measurement, it is still an inexact science. Holding good faith advertisers legally liable based on such criteria is unreasonable and unfair.

While there are numerous reasons to oppose the bill, the most important message you can send to legislators is that it is opposed by a broad cross section of the advertising industry.

Please send copies of your correspondence and any response you get to AAF headquarters. Do not hesitate to call me at (800) 999-2231 if you have any comments or questions.

Senate Government Organization Committee California State Senate

Sen. Dean Florez, Chair

Sen. Jeff Denham, Vice Chair

Sen. Jim Battin

Sen. Bob Margett

Sen. Tom McClintock

Sen. Wes Chesbro

Sen. Gloria Romero

Sen. Nell Soto

Sen. Edward Vincent