Dispute rages over malt beverage marketing


The war of words over "alcopops" continues.

Tuesday the Center for Science in the Public Interest charged in a press
conference that makers of flavored malt beverages -- like Smirnoff Ice or Mike's
Hard Lemonade -- are targeting their marketing to minors, and disregarded a
recent Federal Trade Commission study that found no evidence of such tactics.

After the press conference the Distilled Spirits Council fired off its own
press release, calling the CSPI's announcement a "publicity stunt rerun."

CSPI is "blatantly ignoring the federal government's action on this issue,"
the council said.

CSPI, which derides the products as alcoholic soda, says its initial
complaint in May 2001 didn't cite TV advertising because there was virtually
none at that time.

Now there is and Tuesday CSPI asked Congress and the FTC to take a "second
look" at evidence showing that the products are marketed at times teens are
likely to be viewing.