The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) alleging that alcohol producers were targeting their products to persons under the age of 21.

After carefully conducting a year-long investigation that examined all the evidence, including research by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, the FTC ruled that CSPI's complaint was without merit. It could find no evidence "that the products or their advertising are targeted to consumers under 21."

But that's not the end of the story.

First, a CSPI official said that the organization was "angry." Shortly thereafter, the political activist group held another press conference repeating the charge that underage persons are being "targeted." Its press release, "Kids in the Crosshairs of Big Booze," makes the same proven-false allegation.

Getting angry and holding another press conference doesn't change the fact that there is no evidence supporting CSPI's charge.


  • Center for Science in the Public Interest. Kids in the Crosshairs of Big Booze. Center for Science in the Public Interest press release, July 16, 2002; Letter from J. Howard Beales (Director, Bureau of Consumer Affairs, U.S. Federal Trade Commission) to George Hacker (Director, Alcohol Policies Project, Center for Science in the Public Interest) dated June 3, 2002

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