WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Distilled Spirits Council today called NBC’s decision to temporarily halt its distilled spirits advertising “unfortunate, but only a temporary set-back for responsible alcohol advertising and equal treatment of distilled spirits, beer and wine.” Distilled Spirits Council President Peter Cressy said, “NBC and Diageo are to be commended for responsible alcohol advertising. There would have been more social responsibility messages about drinking on television than ever before. Sadly, a few misguided critics through their attacks on NBC have undercut this effort.” Cressy called it “a disservice to the American public because it blocks responsible advertising while reinforcing the dangerous misperception that beer is ‘soft’ alcohol and spirits are ‘hard’ alcohol.” Beverage alcohol equivalence — a standard serving of beer, wine or spirits all contain the same amount of alcohol — is a scientific fact recognized by the leading federal agencies on alcohol and health matters, state driver’s manuals, and groups such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving. “Policies on alcohol advertising need to be based on facts, not based on preconceived notions or misperceptions. Based on numerous scientific studies, there is no factual basis for these attacks,” he added. “The fact is, alcohol is alcohol. There is no beverage of moderation, only the practice of moderation.” Over the last five years, distilled spirits ads have aired on more than 400 broadcast stations nationwide and cable systems representing 67 percent of all households, with broad public acceptance. “The nation’s leading distillers continue to stand by their 68 year commitment to high advertising standards, regardless of the medium. A full public discussion regarding television advertising for beer, wine and distilled spirits is warranted to ensure high standards and fair and equal treatment,” Cressy concluded.