NBC shows no sign of backing down on hard-liquor advertising, despite criticism, as the network could add a second distilled-spirits advertiser to its roster.
Brown-Forman Corp. met with NBC recently to discuss airing network ads for Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey, which it already has advertised in prime time on 18 NBC local affiliates, 12 CBS affiliates, six local ABC stations and some Fox affiliates over the past two years.
The earliest Brown-Forman could run an ad would be May, the beginning of its fiscal year. The agency for Jack Daniel's is Havas Advertising's Arnold Worldwide, St. Louis.
In December, NBC, in a break with industry practice, accepted hard-liquor advertising from Diageo's Guinness-UDV North America for Smirnoff vodka. At the same time, NBC issued guidelines: It will consider running liquor ads only on programs where at least 85% of viewers are 21 or older. It also requires distilled spirits advertisers to run four months of "social responsibility" spots before starting regular product ads; after that, 20% of a spirits maker's NBC ads would need to address social responsibility.
While NBC has been steadfast in its decision to take spirits ads, it faces some critics. The American Medical Association last week ran a newspaper ad criticizing NBC.