Underage drinking is the nation's number one drug problem and exposure to alcohol ads is a contributing factor.
That's according to a study of a lot of studies by the Center On Alcohol Marketing and Youth (CAMY), which is funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts and The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
In a just-released study of earlier studies-focusing on 2005--the center advocated "strong efforts pursued nationwide to reduce youth exposure to alcohol advertising."
To buttress that call for ad cutbacks, the center cited various findings including that the exposure of 12-20-year-olds to alcohol ads between 2001 and 2004 increased by 32% (the center cited its onw 2004 study for that one); and that in 2004, the top 15 shows with kids 12-17 featured alcohol ads (again its own study, this one from 2005).
The ad industry in fall 2003 pledged to confine alcohol ads to shows with less than a 30% youth audience, but alcohol ad critics have been pusing for a 15% cap.
Adonis Hoffman, senior VP/counsel to the American Association of Advertising Agencies, says strong efforts to reduce youth exposure are already underway,and "being led by the industry."
"It is clear that alcohol marketers have approached the issue of underaged drinking with utmost responsibility. They have empaneled an industry advisory board and voluntarily cut back on advertising, efforts that have been praised by the Federal Trade Commission. It is clear that industry self-regulation is working."