Marketing to Youth
The alcohol industry targets youth for the same reason that Big Tobacco does: to ensure a steady supply of loyal customers by getting them hooked as early as possible. Corporations spend billions of dollars a year on marketing because it works. Simply put, the more ads youth see, the more likely they are to drink. Moreover, the earlier kids start to drink, the more likely they are to become addicted. So, what we can do about it? Plenty. Despite industry claims to free speech, the First Amendment is not a blank check to advertise anywhere, anytime. To the contrary, marketing to youth can be reduced or even eliminated given the political will. Eat Drink Politics can help you develop policies to reduce marketing in your communities, as well as counter industry lobbying and public relations.
See our reports on this topic:
Alcohol Promotion on Facebook (The Journal of Global Drug Policy and Practice, 2010)
Reducing Youth Exposure to Alcohol Ads: Targeting Public Transit (Journal of Urban Health, 2008)