AG Group Wants Alcohol Ad Limits

WASHINGTON A group of 20 state Attorneys General have requested the Federal Trade Commission to consider asking the alcohol industry to limit its advertising to audiences where only 15 percent of the population is under 21.

The May 8 letter is the result of a committee the Attorneys General formed in 2004 to examine industry marketing practices and teen exposure to alcohol ads.

“Alcoholism is a major pediatric disease in this nation,” said Steve Rowe, the AG from Maine. “Young people are starting to drink at an earlier age and drinking more aggressively than ever before. We are troubled by this growing thirst for alcohol among young people. We believe this thirst is driven by a culture of drinking created in part by alcohol industry marketing.”

Currently, the alcohol industry adheres to self-regulatory guidelines that require advertising to audiences where 70 percent are 21 or older.

“If we set up advertising rules that are so stringent, it will make it difficult to advertise to a legal and proper audience,” said Dan Jaffe, evp of government relations for the Association of National Advertisers.

The Attorneys General have also asked the FTC to review how the industry handles complaints about alcohol ads.