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Council president refutes equivalency claims by industry.

Council president refutes equivalency claims by industry

In his recent address to the Brewer's Association of America, Century Council chairman John Gavin held firm to the position that his group is not a veiled attempt to promote equivalency by the distilled spirits and wine industries.

"Despite what you may have heard, or read," Gavin stated, "the Century Council is not about equivalency. Period."

Gavin explained that one reactionary editorial in the Brewing Industry News called the Council "an alcohol equivalency movement to raise the tax on beer to same as distilled spirits and wine, under the guise of being an anti-alcohol group sponsored by distillers, mostly."

"I can tell you, in no uncertain terms, that equivalency is not an issue that the Council intends to address, or has a purpose, either hidden or overt," Gavin said. "If it ever does become an issue for this organization... our subscribers can find themselves a new chairman. I will resign."

The Brewing Industry News, Gavin added, also claimed the Council's prohibition of marketing and advertising practices, intended to appeal to minors, "leans toward the brewing industry's advertising."

"With all respect, this is patently incorrect," Gavin told the BAA. "We have not targeted brewers. In fact, the Century Council's code was reviewed and had the input of legal representatives of major brewers - plural - as well as vintners and distillers."

The same article, Gavin said, went on to attack a recent survey supposedly finding against the brewing industry, but this too was defended - with facts. "The survey referred to in the passage was a study we commissioned that was conducted by ... Dr. Richard Wirthlin. Among other things, the survey found that the vast majority of Americans believe that alcohol advertising encourages teenagers to drink. This was, by the way, far from the first survey to report this opinion.

"Dr. Wirthin's survey, however, did not make any separate finding about television commercials," Gavin said. "And not only did the survey not specifically address television, but nothing in our code is specifically aimed at television... the code provisions cover all forms of advertising and marketing.

"As you know, the Council's subscribers come from all segments of the licensed beverage industry - brewers, distillers, vintners wholesalers and retailers," Gavin said. "While it is true that we do not yet have the level of brewer participation we would like, we are working for that participation. We want the that participation. I am here today, in fact, to ask for your participation."
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Title Annotation:Century Council chairman John Galvin; Brewer's Association of America
Publication:Modern Brewery Age
Date:Jan 20, 1992
Words:411
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