SEAGRAM'S ON THE BOX

BREAKING A 48-YEAR-OLD PACT, THE LIQUOR COMPANY ADVERTISES ON TV. CONGRESS MAY NOT BUY IT

The ad itself is nothing special. A dog sits holding a diploma in its mouth over a subtitle reading, "Obedience school graduate." Then a second dog trots onscreen, proudly bearing a purple-velvet pouch with a bottle of Crown Royal whiskey inside. "Valedictorian," reads the subtitle. Typical, right?

Wrong. The 30-sec. spot, now airing on KRIS-TV, an NBC affiliate in Corpus Christi, Texas, is a landmark: the first deviation from the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States' self-imposed ban on TV advertising, adopted in 1948. Reaction was swift. The ad "could open the airwaves to a flood of hard-liquor ads," fumed...

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