Marin Institute, the alcohol industry watchdog, released the country's first guide to restricting out-of-home (OOH) alcohol advertising. The guide will help policymakers draft effective state and local laws to minimize youth
exposure to ubiquitous alcohol advertising in the 21st Century.
"Decades of research and common sense tell us that the more often youth are exposed to alcohol ads, the more likely they are to drink," stated Marin Institute's Research and Policy Director Michele Simon. "Marin Institute's new guide offers new tools to local and state advo options like video display terminals, digital billboards, and ambient advertising. Spending on such advertising venues grew to over $8 billion dollars in 2008, with the alcohol industry being one of the largest purchasers.
"These alcohol ads reach kids waiting in line at a grocery store, riding the bus to school, or walking to the library," said Marin Institute Executive Director, Bruce Livingston. "They cannot be avoided by flipping a channel or turning a page. Nor can parents protect kids from them. Out-of-home ads are planting dangerous messages into the developing brains of a vulnerable captive audience."
Examples of current local and state alcohol advertising laws that can serve as models are offered, as well as an explanation of commercial speech and the First Amendment. The guide also describes the difference between public and private property and how advocates can push for legally defensible laws in their communities.
"For too long, the alcohol industry and media owners have claimed absolute free speech protection to their harmful message aimed at youth," added Simon. "This Guide dispels that myth and offers local communities viable options for protecting youth and others."
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