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For Immediate Release
May 7, 2007

Media Contact:
Raquel Guillory, 410-576-6357
rguillory@oag.state.md.us

Major Alcohol Producer Adopts Stronger
Voluntary Advertising Standard
Alcohol Industry Urged to Follow Beam’s Lead

Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler today praised Beam Global for adopting a comprehensive set of new policies designed to reduce exposure of its advertising to youth. Beam Global is the largest distilled spirits company based in the U.S. Beam Global adopted these measures following talks with state Attorneys General from around the country.

Attorney General Gansler joined 36 other Attorneys General in calling on members of the alcohol beverage industry to follow Beam’s lead. While advertising is only one of the factors that contribute to underage drinking, the importance of reducing youth exposure to alcohol advertising is magnified given that youth who begin drinking before age 15 are four times as likely to develop alcohol dependence after age 21.

“The willingness of Beam Global to be responsible and adopt these new policies represents a significant step to reduce youth exposure to alcohol advertising,” said Attorney General Gansler. “Attorneys General from around the country will continue to call on other members of the alcohol industry to implement similar measures.”

Beam Global has committed to adopting the following policies:

  • Make sure that no more than 25% of the audience for any of its TV, radio or print advertisements is under 21;
  • Insure that no more than 15% of the annual average audience for its TV, radio, and print advertising is underage;
  • Will not introduce or market any “flavored malt beverages” that the AMA and others have found to be particularly popular with teenage girls;
  • Will not advertise within 500 feet of schools, playgrounds, or places of worship;
  • Will not market on college campuses or in connection with Spring Break events;
  • Adopt enhanced standards for restrictions on brand name merchandise.

A report issued in 2003 by the National Research Council and Institute of Medicine, Underage Drinking: A Collective Responsibility, proposed voluntary ad placement limits by the alcohol industry as the most important strategy to address youth overexposure to alcohol advertising. In March of this year, Acting Surgeon General Kenneth Moritsugu issued A Call to Action to Prevent and Reduce Underage Drinking. In it, he calls on the alcohol industry to place alcohol advertising in ways that do not disproportionately expose youth to messages about alcohol.

   

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