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The Federal Trade Commission has required 14 major alcoholic beverage advertisers to provide information for the agency’s fourth major study on the effectiveness of voluntary industry guidelines for reducing advertising and marketing to underage audiences by beer, wine, and distilled spirits manufacturers.

For the first time, the agency will request information on Internet and digital marketing and data collection practices.  As in previous studies, the FTC also will seek advertising expenditure and placement data, and background information about the advertisers’ business practices.

Previous studies were completed in 1999, 2003, and 2008.  Recommendations from past reports have resulted in agreements by the Beer Institute, the Wine Institute, and the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States to adopt:  an improved voluntary advertising placement standard; buying guidelines for placing ads on radio, in print, on television, and on the Internet; a requirement that suppliers conduct periodic internal audits of past placements; and systems for external review of complaints about compliance.

For the latest study, the Commission sought public comment twice last year, in March, and again in November. The orders to provide information, also known as compulsory process orders, were sent to alcoholic beverage advertisers earlier this week.

The Commission vote to authorize the staff to issue the compulsory process orders was 5-0.

(FTC File No. P114503; The staff contacts in the Bureau of Consumer Protection are Janet Evans, 202-326-2125, and Carolyn L. Hann, 202-326-2745.)

The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC's online Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). The FTC enters complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 2,000 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.  The FTC's website provides free information on a variety of consumer topics. Like the FTC on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

(Alcohol Study 6Bs FYI)

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