Watchdog irked by booze-sex link on TV drama

Thu Jun 21, 2007 12:45pm BST

NEW YORK (Hollywood Reporter) - Consumer watchdog group Commercial Alert has filed a complaint with the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, alleging that Jack Daniel's sponsorship of AMC's upcoming drama "Mad Men" violates its marketing code prohibiting alcohol marketing in association with depictions of irresponsible drinking, overt sexual activity or sexually lewd images.

Commercial Alert called on DISCUS, the hard liquor industry's trade association, to recommend that Jack Daniel's and its parent company, Brown-Forman, withdraw sponsorship of the show, which premieres July 19. According to Commercial Alert, Jack Daniel's will be prominently featured in the show, run commercials during the series and co-promote it as well.

Brown-Forman and AMC were not immediately available for comment.

"Based on the material on AMC's Web site, it appears that the sponsorship arrangement will violate numerous provisions of the industry's self-regulatory marketing code," said Robert Weissman, managing director of Commercial Alert.

"Mad Men" is set in the New York advertising world of 1960. It was created by Matthew Weiner, a former writer and executive producer of "The Sopranos."

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter