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Report: Anheuser-Busch Leading Spender On Advertising During 2015 Session

LRC Public Information

2015 marked the first year for a new reporting requirement for business and other groups registered to lobby in Frankfort.

Though most lobbying efforts tend to focus on lawmakers, another brand of messaging aims to convince their constituents to call in support or opposition to particular bills. And now a new provision means lobbying groups are required to report just how much they shelled out for that advertising.

"Tell your legislator to vote no on HB 168. It's a job killer..."

You might have heard that call to action in a 30-second ad from brewers Anheuser-Busch earlier this month. Legislative Research Commissioner spokesman John Schaaf says getting that message to voters was by far the most costly part of the company’s ill-fated push to defeat the legislation, nicknamed the “Beer Bill.”

"Anheuser-Busch reported $261,000 spent on advertising and that's out of a total spending on lobbying of just $291,000," he says. "So it was a significant portion of their lobbying-related spending."

Meanwhile, Kentuckians for Entrepreneurs & Growth, which supported the bill banning out-of-state brewers from owning distributorships, spent just $97,500 on advertising.

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.
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