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Advertising and Alcohol Alcohol manufacturers use a variety of unscrupulous techniques to advertise alcoholic beverages to children Perhaps the worst example is Anheuser-Busch Co the worlds largest brewer which uses child-enticing cartoon images of frogs dogs penguins and lizards in ads for Budweiser beer These Budweiser cartoon characters are hugely popular with children just like Joe Camel ads A KidCom Marketing study once found these Budweiser cartoon character ads were American childrens favorite ads This is no accident Anheuser-Busch is conducting an advertising campaign to get children to start drinking beer These Budweiser ads are unconscionable So are Phillip Morriss Miller Lite twist to open commercials which are among childrens top 10 favorite ads according to another study by KidCom Hard liquor ads on television are equally unconscionable In June 1996 Joseph E Seagrams Sons Co broke a 48 year old voluntary ban on advertising hard liquor on television Five months later the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States DISCUS re-wrote its Code of Good Practice to allow its member distillers to advertise on radio and television Even if these TV ads are aired only after 9 or 10 PM they will still reach millions of American children Alcohol advertising may increase alcohol consumption including drinking by minors Based on this effect various municipalities around the country have attempted to ban alcohol advertising These attempts have met with mixed results in the courts This section will attempt to explain how a municipality can legally ban alcohol advertising Commercial Speech The only constitutional impediment to banning alcohol advertising is First Amendment freedom of speech Alcohol producers and their advertising companies will usually bring suit against a municipality which bans alcohol advertisements arguing that the ban is an unconstitutional abridgement of the freedom of speech Advertising however is only commercial speech which is protected by the First Amendment 1 but not to the extent that political speech is protected Therefore a municipality can
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