ADVERTISING AND ALCOHOL

See also: http://camy.org/ for reports on alcohol advertising on radio, magazines, and television's effect on teens.

Curley, Bob, "Industry hammered for marketing to kids, binge drinkers, alcoholics," JOIN TOGETHER ONLINE, April 04/04/04.

"The alcohol industry understands alcoholism better than anyone...If every American drank according to the federal guidelines, industry sales would be cut by 80 percent," said Jean Kilbourne, Ed. D., a visiting scholar at Wellesley College and a national expert on alcohol and tobacco advertising.

"No matter what you're selling, the heavy user is your best customer" she said, charging that the alcohol industry "need alcoholics and binge drinkers on campus."

George Hacker, director of the Alcohol Policies Project at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, agreed, "Ten percent of consumers drink 50 percent of the alcohol," he said. "Without them, the alcohol industry would dry up like a prune."

Tom Greenfield, a senior researcher at the Alcohol Research Group, said that marketing for beer, in particular, encourages over consumption. For instance, while research shows that the top 20 percent of wine buyers consume one to four glasses at a sitting, Greenfield said the top 20 percent of beer purchasers drink four or more at a sitting. "The majority of beer sales come from people drinking in unsafe ways," he said.

"Underage drinkers comprise 11 to 20 percent of the alcohol market," contends David Jernigan, director of the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth (CAMY). "these are not young people having a glass of wine at a school cafeteria soiree," he said. "New drinkers are heavy drinkers."

Kilbourne said that advertising, which she called "the propaganda of American society." trivializes relationships, teaches that happiness can be bought, and says that people are less important than things. "That's especially troubling when the product is addictive," she said. "We know addicts feel lonely and feel that the substance they are addicted to is their only friend. "Youth exposure to alcohol advertising on television, 2001-2009. There is growing concern among policy makers and the general public about the impact of messages from popular and commercial cultures on youth perceptions, attitudes and health behaviors. Also available are Fact Sheets on the "Prevalence of Underage Drinking", "Alcohol Advertising and Youth" and more. Search reports at http://camy.org/

 

updated 12/06/16