Distilled Spirits Council President Peter Cressy says his group will work with "third-party advocacy groups" to encourage the beer and wine industries to accept higher ad standards that could be applied to beer, wine and liquor. The goal is to get hard-liquor ads onto network TV. NBC was planning to break the ice in the category but is holding off after being pressured by Congress. The idea of advertising standards across all alcohol categories has been discussed in the past, but beer and wine advertisers have opposed any new standards.

DSC believes national TV advertising "will help us get back some of the market share that we have lost," Cressy says. According to DSC, since 1980, distilled spirits' market share has declined from about 36% to 28% while beer's has risen from 52% to 58% and wine's from 10.5% to 12.5%.


CBS, NBC and Fox all claimed prime time victories in week 27 of the Nielsen-ratings race. CBS said it won in household and men 25-54 and 18-49, with a big boost from NCAA Basketball. NBC won in adults 18-49 for the seventh time in eight weeks (including three weeks influenced by the Olympics). Fox claimed victory among teens.

CBS said CSI
was the most-watched regular program, with an average audience of 25.2 million. But March 30's Final Four basketball game (Maryland vs. Kansas) reached a total 35.6 million viewers, an average 18.5 million. Greg the Bunny'
s March 28 debut gave Fox its highest ratings in the time period in almost two years.