Alcohol Ads Target Youth?

by David J. Hanson, Ph. D.

A Federal Trade Commission report to Congress indicates that its comprehensive investigation" found no evidence of targeting underage consumers.” 1

In response, George Hacker of the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) said "We never suggested the industry intends to market to underage drinkers.” 2

But the year before, Mr. Hacker asserted that "The alcohol companies target teens with their ad campaigns.” He insisted that their advertising practices "intend to corral illegal booze consumers.” (George Hacker, "CSPI on Youth-Targeted Booze Ads.”) 3

The year before that, Mr. Hacker contended that "Our children are at risk, and it makes no sense to allow alcohol marketers to increase the pressure on them to drink.” (George Hacker, "Alcohol Marketers Assailed for Targeting Kids During Super Bowl.”) 4

The same year Mr. Hacker’s Alcohol Policies Project reported:

"Both teenagers and adults believe that liquor and beer companies target young people with their advertising."

"Both teens and adults believe that liquor and beer companies target young people with their advertising." (Emphasis in original. Duplication of statement is not an error but occurs in the CSPI report)

"Teens and adults...believe ‘alcopops’ are marketed to youth.”

Both teens and adults "agree that beer and liquor companies target underage
drinkers or teenagers with their ads.”

Both men and women "believe that companies target underage drinkers.”

"A majority of teens and adults say that ‘alcopops’ are marketed to people under 21.” (Emphasis in original.)

Teens "say that ‘alcopops’ are marketed to people under 21.”

Both men and women "say that ‘alcopops’ are marketed to people under 21.”

"Teens and adults say that ‘alcopops’ are marketed to youth.” (Emphasis in original.)

Both teens and adults "agree” that companies try to "lure” young people into drinking‘alcopops.”

"Both teens and adults overwhelmingly believe that ‘alcopops’ are being marketed to underage people.” 5

And as long as 20 years earlier, Mr. Hacker and the head of the Center for Science in the Public Interest wrote a book published by CSPI arguing that alcohol ads targeted underage people. 6

Yet George Hacker now insists, in spite of all the evidence to the contrary, that “We never suggested the industry intends to market to underage drinkers.”

 

To learn more, visit The Center for Science in the Public Interest.

References and Readings

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