Miller, Guinness, and Foster’s Logos Used on Tees at Popular Teen Retailer ‘Forever 21’

WASHINGTON—The nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest today urged Miller Brewing Co., Foster’s, and Diageo, the parent company of Guinness, to stop allowing logos for those beers to be used on tee shirts sold at Forever 21, a retailer popular with teenage girls. CSPI says that the arrangement is in violation of the beer industry’s voluntary advertising and marketing code. Though it is administered by the Washington, D.C., lobby group the Beer Institute, the code explicitly states that no beer brands or logos “should be used or licensed for use on clothing …intended for use primarily by persons below the legal drinking age.”

Forever 21 claims it is among the top three teen shopping brands nationwide.

“Adolescent and teenage girls hardly need further inducements to drink,” wrote George A. Hacker, director of the alcohol policies project at CSPI. “Heavy drinking imposes special risks for girls, due to their lower body weights and different metabolisms and the contributing role of alcohol in sexual assaults, date rape, and unwanted and unplanned pregnancies.”

CSPI is forwarding copies of its letters to the brewers to the Federal Trade Commission, which has begun applying greater scrutiny to the marketing practices of alcoholic-beverage makers. CSPI also called on the retailer to remove all beer or alcohol-themed tee shirts from its web site and approximately 400 outlets around the country. In addition to carrying shirts bearing Miller, Foster’s, and Guinness logos, the chain sells shirts that read “I’m awesome at beer pong,”“beer is my anti-drug,” and “save water, drink beer.”