TV drinking ads target adolescents

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According to a study recently published in the American Journal of Public Health, ads for alcohol occur more often when the audience is composed of adolescents. For each percentage point increase in teenage viewership there were 7% more ads for beer, 15% more ads for spirits and 22% more alcopop ads (like Mike’s hard lemonade). Industry guidelines established in 2003 prohibit the advertising of alcohol to audiences that are composed of 30% or more teenagers. However, the researchers conducting the study found that only 5% of advertising time slots fell into that category. According to Paul J. Chung, MD, of UCLA and the RAND Corporation, “The scarcity of these time slots rendered the 30% standard ineffective in reducing exposure of underage viewers to alcohol ads… it’s not that it’s a bad idea. It’s just that it hasn’t been effective. It points to the idea that if we want to decrease teen exposure to alcohol ads, we’re going to need more stringent guidelines.” Click here to read an article from Fox News that discusses the issue more.

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