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In a year of economic slowdown, local television stations might be expected to welcome commercials for a new product getting a nationwide advertising push.
They would. Unless, that is, the product carries the name Smirnoff and the beverage is an "ice malt" variation on malt liquor.
Television stations and networks have voluntarily banned hard liquor ads that the Smirnoff name conjures and are skittish about running malt liquor ads.
The CBS network rejected an opportunity to run ads for the new Smirnoff Ice beverage during the Super Bowl because the network's executives believed the product was too closely associated with spirits.
In Milwaukee, at least two stations have declined to carry the …