Study Finds Self-Regulation of Alcohol Advertising
Marketing Weekly News
A study conducted by CAMY, the Center for Alcohol Marketing and Youth, released earlier this
week, found a dramatic reduction in the exposure of youth to alcohol advertising in magazines.
From 2001 to 2008, exposure dropped by an impressive 48%, demonstrating that the industry's
practice of self-regulation and commitment to advertising exclusively in publications with an
audience that's at least 70% age 21 or older is working. CAMY's study also found that there is
virtually no alcohol advertising in publications with under-21 readership greater than 30%.
Guy L. Smith, Executive Vice President of Diageo stated: "This study conducted by CAMY - one of the
most outspoken opponents of the beverage alcohol industry in this country - confirmed what we
already know to be true: self regulation works and fewer people underage are being exposed to
alcohol advertising today than ever before."
CAMY's study is consistent with the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) most recent inquiry into
alcohol advertising. The FTC found "high levels of compliance" with the alcohol industry's voluntary
placement standard that advertising materials should be placed only where 70% of the audience is
reasonably expected to be 21 years of age or older. In that report, the FTC said it was not
recommending a change in the 70% 21+ demographic standard. Further, the FTC found that the
"current 70 percent baseline standard has helped to ensure that alcohol advertising is not
disproportionately directed to those below the legal drinking age, as recommended by the Surgeon
General's Call to Action [to Prevent and Reduce Underage Drinking]." (FTC Report, p. 27,
There has been considerable study of the impact of alcohol advertising but no study has been able
to demonstrate that alcohol advertising causes underage drinking. More than a decade ago, Diageo
proactively moved to restrict its advertising to publications in which 70% of the audience is age 21
and older. In 2003, the Beer Institute and the Distilled Spirits Council of the U.S. also adopted the
Smith continued, "Underage drinking is a complex problem, and one that cannot be cured - or
caused - by advertising. At Diageo, we have zero tolerance for underage drinking, and that's why we
abide by one of the most stringent marketing codes in the industry. If we have any chance of ending
underage drinking - and I believe we do - we all need to work collaboratively toward a solutionoriented approach. Research has conclusively proven that the most effective deterrent to underage
drinking is parents talking with their children about alcohol."
CAMY, formerly affiliated with Georgetown University and now with Johns Hopkins University, has
published numerous reports critical of industry self-regulation. However, some of CAMY's over-
reaching methodology has itself been criticized by authoritative organizations, including the
Federal Trade Commission. (FTC Report, p. 32-33,
Keywords: Advertising, Diageo, Economics, FTC, Federal Trade Commission.
This article was prepared by Marketing Weekly News editors from staff and other reports.
Copyright 2010, Marketing Weekly News via VerticalNews.com.
Full Text: COPYRIGHT 2010 NewsRX LLC.
"Study Finds Self-Regulation of Alcohol Advertising is Working." Marketing Weekly News 28 Aug. 2010:
66. Business Insights: Essentials. Web. 17 Oct. 2018.
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