Statement of CSPI alcohol policies project director George Hacker

I don’t know how many more studies the Federal Trade Commission will have to see before it recognizes the obvious: That alcohol companies target teens with their ad campaigns. Liquor companies could probably start advertising in Teen People, Seventeen or on Sesame Street before the FTC stops parroting the industry’s talking points.

The data presented by Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth at Georgetown regarding the exposure of young people to ads for “alcopops” in popular magazines underscore our concerns that alcohol producers target underage consumers with new products that resemble soft drinks and disguise the taste of alcohol.

Based on these new data, which mirror CSPI's findings that teens were three times more familiar with “alcopop” products than adults and twice as likely to have tried them, we call upon the Federal Trade Commission, once again, to take a closer look at alcohol-industry advertising practices that are enticing kids to drink. Simply reviewing internal company documents, as the FTC claims it did in response to our past complaints, is clearly an insufficient response to advertising practices that intend to corral illegal booze consumers.