Submission Number: 00042
Received: 4/12/2011 2:01:10 PM
Commenter: Brigid Sullivan
Organization: Black River Area Community Coalition
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Initiative: Alcohol Reports: Project No. P114503
Attachments: No Attachments
In my work to reduce youth consumption of alcohol, I am appalled at the marketing that is directly and obliquely aimed at underage drinkers in general and at female underage drinkers in particular. Ads in teen magazines, on web sites and in videos are clearly directed at underage youth/girls.
The focus on a youthful consumer is obvious from the packaging of the products (e.g., hot pink labels, pink and green designed packaging) to the product names of (called bitch beers and panty droppers by underage males) to the advertising placement and content. Raspberry, passion fruit, lime and vanilla flavored, ultra sweet vodka drinks are designed to mask the taste of alchohl that young women found objectionable prior to their development. Take the online description of the web site "Smirnoff, the world's #1 vodka invites you to be restless, to be inventive, to be extraordinary, to be able to say 'I was There'."
There are on-line sales that are only regulated by a buyer statement that they are in fact 21 years old. There are contests which adults do not enter. There are numerous other examples of manufacturers attempts to sell to youth (e.g., the Budweiser frogs) for the sheer sales themselves but also to build brand loyalty at very young ages.
It is the responsibility of the FTC to regulate an industry that has gone very wrong. Date rapes and sexual violence, increased risk of addiction, drunk driving, and numerous other challenges to our society are the result of the industry's self regulation. It is time for the FTC to assert your rightful oversight of the alcoholic beverage industry. Every delay in implementing meaningful oversight and regulation means the loss of more teen lives, productivity and pain for the families and friends of victims of the promise of a glamorous and exciting life filled with alcohol.