Detroit Council Takes Aim at Billy Dee Williams Malt Liquor Ads

David Josar, Detroit News, July 7, 2009

Put off by a recent spate of billboards around the city that feature actor Billy Dee Williams touting malt liquor with the phrase “works every time,” the City Council on Tuesday began looking at ways to regulate billboard advertising.

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Reynolds [Mayowa Lisa Reynolds, a local minister] said she conducted a survey and found the billboards, which feature a cartoon representation of Williams trying to sell Colt 45, located in every square mile of the city.

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She added that she did not find the billboards in nearby communities such as Royal Oak and Plymouth.

“It’s an issue of racism and perversity,” Watson said.

Council directed its Research and Analysis Division to see what action council could take and whether council could halt the erection of new billboards.

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Council President Kenneth Cockrel Jr. said he too had problems with the billboards but tempered his criticism by suggesting that the ads wouldn’t go up if people didn’t buy the products.

“We also have to check ourselves,” he said. “I see a lot of people buying 40 ounces.”

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