For Immediate Release: April 10, 1997

Contact: George Hacker at (202) 332-9110 ext. 343


The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), citing alcohol as "a deadly drug in children's hands," today challenged the liquor industry to return to a voluntary ban on broadcast advertising. CSPI also urged brewers to adopt a voluntary moratorium on ads that "appeal to children."

George Hacker, director of CSPI's Alcohol Policies Project, issued the challenges during a press conference held by Representative Joseph Kennedy. The Congressman announced an initiative to require television, cable, and radio broadcasters to develop industry standards to protect children from appeals to drink alcoholic beverages.

"Alcohol," Hacker said, "is the drug of choice for young people in this country, and a major factor in the three leading causes of death for persons 15-24, including unintentional injuries, homicides and suicides. It is a deadly drug in children's hands."

Hacker noted that children and teenagers are bombarded by more than $700 million in beer, wine, and liquor ads on radio and television, many of which appear on sports programs. He praised Kennedy's proposed legislation, which calls for voluntary action by broadcasters to protect children from those alcohol advertising campaigns.

"We don't expect new broadcast standards for alcohol advertising to be adopted overnight," he said. "While we're waiting, there is something that can be done. We call upon the liquor industry to go back to the voluntary ban. Be good corporate citizens and don't add to the risks our children already face.

"Brewers," he added, "also should demonstrate utmost caution when it comes to advertising that appeals to children. We urge them to adopt a voluntary moratorium on all broadcast and other advertising that reaches large numbers of teens and children.

"Stop targeting our kids."

The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), headquartered in Washington, DC, is a non-profit health-advocacy organization with nearly one million members. CSPI focuses on nutrition, food safety and alcohol policy. It publishes the "Nutrition Action Healthletter" and accepts no government or industry funding.

Complete Statement by George Hacker