People are Ridiculous: The Fight to Keep Booze Ads from Teens

I’m an advertising nerd, through and through. This morning I received an email from the publication Advertising Age and one of the headlines read “New Fight Erupts Over Rules to Keep Booze Ads From Teens“. According the article, the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth says that 91% of kids aged 12 to 20 were exposed to alcohol ads in 2009. Budweiser Beer Superbowl Ad 1990 The Distilled Spirits Council came back and called that report “biased advocacy research” and I tend to agree. They went on to say that its claim that “an increase in alcohol advertising is causing teens to drink is undercut by the federal government data.” A recent University of Michigan study actually found that underage drinking rates among 8th, 10th and 12th graders are at their lowest levels. Still, the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth is throwing a fit. They want to ban booze ads on shows where more than 15% of the audience is thought to be between the ages of 12 and 20. Currently, the Federal Trade Commission is pushing for a more reasonable (in my opinion anyway) threshold of 25%. Currently, there is a 30% threshold which is believed to be “a socially responsible, fact-based standard.” If you ask me, this whole thing is absurd. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s absolutely awful that 40,000 teens have died as a result of underage drinking. First of all, it’s just not feasible to believe that you can stop alcohol related ads from reaching kids. A lot of kids have televisions and/or computers in their bedrooms, they go on YouTube (have you seen the stuff they watch on YouTube?), they listen to the radio. Heck, the kids I volunteer with (mostly 8-9 year olds) are big rap and hip-hop fans and they have to explain things to me. Some of those things are VERY inappropriate. I’m not saying we should be airing Captain Morgan commercials on Nickelodeon but the key here is to educate kids (especially teens) instead of sheltering them. Teach them how to drink responsibly instead of banning advertisements for alcohol. [techtags:ALCOHOL ADS, TEEN DRINKING]


  • O'Shea Shenanigans December 16, 2010 @ 1:39pm

    Did removing cigarette ads stop kids from smoking? No! This is pointless and stupid. Beer ads to not make kids want to drink anymore then a good comedy on TV makes kids funny.

  • M December 20, 2010 @ 1:33pm

    People need to teach their kids to drink responsibly starting at a younger age so that when kids go off to college, etc. they already know what their limits are so that the kids don’t go off to their first frat party and drink 15 beers and end up in the hospital. I’m not saying like Liz confirmed about putting Jameson commercials on Nick Jr. on Saturday mornings or anything like that…but they should be doing more commercials on drinking responsibly when 12-20 year old humans are usually watching TV. And while they’re at it…they can air those commercials during prime time, as I know some adults that are stupid drunks and that annoy me.

    On another note, I believe that the drinking age needs to be changed to 18. If people want to drink…they are going to drink. They are going to find somebody to buy that case of beer for them. Kids these days are enlisting for the military so that they can die for their country and fight for their right for freedom, etc. etc. etc….but when they are on home soil they aren’t allowed to toast to their country with a glass of champagne/beer/cocktail? If you ask me, that is just ridiculous. The feds say you’re old enough to die for your country, but you’re not allowed to cheers to it?
    The drinking age in my house (and my neighbors for that matter…) was as long as you were in college you were able to have some cocktails. Better to learn how to drink in a controlled environment than to go out and not know your limits and end up god only knows where.

    Sorry to hijack your post Liz…I started typing and I just couldn’t tell my hands to stop…

  • Hannah December 20, 2010 @ 1:36pm

    M- I completely agree with you on changing the drinking age to 18 – if you’re old enough to die for our country, you’re old enough to drink.

    End of story.

  • Liz December 20, 2010 @ 1:40pm

    Agreed ladies! (and thanks for the comment M!)

    If you look at the several European countries with low drinking ages, it’s not hard to see that alcohol is simply part of their culture. Typically kids learn the habit of responsible drinking at home, from a young age. When it’s part of everyday life and not made to be such a forbidden thrill, kids are less likely to binge and drink just for the sake of getting wasted.

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