Alcohol Ads & College Sports
The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) has launched a campaign to prevent any and all alcohol advertising during televised university sports events.
In spite of an exhaustive investigation by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) concluding that there is absolutely no evidence that alcohol producers or advertisers target underage persons, the CSPI continues to insist that “beer marketers are clearly targeting underage drinkers.”
The Center for Science in the Public Interest contends that such advertising targets underage viewers. However, research by Nielsen Media shows that almost 90% of all college football and basketball viewers are of legal drinking age.
Even more important, research for decades around the world by governments, health agencies and universities demonstrates that alcohol ads don’t induce non-drinkers to begin drinking or increase overall alcohol consumption. Its impact is to influence a brand’s market share.
- Coaching Legends Help Launch “Alcohol-Free Sports TV” Effort. Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) press release, 11-12-03; Americans Say “Beer Ads Foul Televised College Sports” Campaign for Alcohol-Free Sports TV: A Project of the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) press release, 11-12-03; Kerr, J.C. Consumer group wants college sports to nix the beer ads. Associated Press, 11-12-03; Alcohol ads in college sports broadcasts assailed; Group: Ban spots that entice youth. Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL), 11-13-03, p. 13A; Group to colleges: Pull alcohol ads. USA Today, 11-13-03, p. 14C.
- George Hacker, head of the Center for Science in the Public Interest’s anti-alcohol program, asserts that colleges that don’t comply with its call for the alcohol advertising speech ban will be prostituting themselves.