Alcohol Marketing and Youth

At the request of Congress, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) carefully investigated the possible impact on underage persons of alcohol advertising and marketing of flavored malt beverages (FMBs). Flavored malt beverages are sometimes referred to as “alcopops” by alcohol activists.

The FTC investigation included examining internal company documents on FMB marketing plans, advertisement placement strategies, age composition data of FMB ad audiences, and actual ad placements in the media, in addition to conducting an empirical investigation of product placement in retail outlets across the country.

In its own words, “the Commission investigation of flavored malt beverages (FMBs) indicates that adults appear to be the intended target of FMB marketing, and that the products have established a niche in the adult market. The investigation found no evidence of targeting underage consumers in the FMB market.”

The Commission also noted that teen drinking continued to decline during the period when these beverages were being aggressively marketed.


  • Federal Trade Commission. Alcohol Marketing and Advertising: A Report to Congress. Washington, DC: Federal Trade Commission, September, 2003.