Alcohol Advertising: Trust Coaches, Not Science!

A group of athletic coaches has been recruited to ask Congress to pressure the NCAA and its members to stop alcohol beverage ads on college sports broadcasts.

The group was organized by the Campaign for Alcohol-Free Sports TV, a project of the Center for Science in the Public Interest’s Alcohol Policies Project. Important is the fact that George Hacker, the head of the lobbying effort, asks us and Congress to trust the beliefs of coaches instead of science and scientific evidence.

Scientific research repeatedly demonstrates that alcohol ads do not cause non-drinkers to begin drinking, do not increase overall alcohol consumption, and do not led to more alcohol-related problems. This is the conclusion of federal government agencies as well. However, effective alcohol ads can increase market share and increase customer loyalty and that’s why they’re used.

Lawyer George Hacker also conveniently ignores the fact that 71% of American college students are of legal drinking age as are the overwhelming majority of those who watch college sports on television.

Because the evidence clearly doesn’t support Hacker’s anti-alcohol agenda, he is forced to employ public relations stunts in an effort to influence the public and politicians. While Hacker’s behavior might be considered unethical or worse, it tends to be effective.


  • Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI). College Greats Join Call for End to Alcohol Ads on College Sports Broadcasts. Press release, Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), 4-14-04.