Alcohol Advertising Gone Wild

Alcohol advertising and its influence on youth cannot be minimized.

Alcohol Advertising Gone Wild

The extent and impacts of alcohol advertising need to be understood.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) and other organizations are urging the NBA [year of this post 2009] to reverse its decision to lift its ban on courtside hard-liquor advertisements and on team web sites, retail locations, and inside arenas. This comes on the heals the Drug-Free Action Alliance survey results of 8,400 middle and high school youth, which found beer advertisements were three of the top 5 favorites ads with this age group during the Super Bowl Game.

To better understand the actual numbers of underage pro football television viewers (which can then be extrapolated to underage NBA underage game viewers), Common Sense Media reported Nielsen ratings and ESPN Sports Poll results as follows:

  • More than 5.3 million kids ages 12-17 (and nearly 2.8 million kids ages 2-11) watch the average pro football game on broadcast television or ESPN each week. [Nielsen Ratings as of 12/18/08]
  • Pro football is by far the most popular sport among kids — nearly two-thirds (65.7%) of kids ages 7-11 say they watch pro football on television. [ESPN Sports Poll, 2007]

So what is this all about?

Perhaps it’s easiest to recall why companies advertise – to get people to use / buy / eat / wear / drink their products! Scientists are now studying the underage brain in action and documenting the impact of alcohol advertising on the underage brain. The American Medical Association (AMA) has joined the effort, calling on cable TV and the TV networks to pledge not to run alcohol ads targeted at underage youth. The AMA defines this as “no alcohol ads before 10 p.m., none on shows with 15 percent or more underage viewers and no commercials with cartoons, mascots or other youth-focused images.”

Why should you get involved? The AMA states, “The brain goes through dynamic change during adolescence, and alcohol can seriously damage long- and short-term growth processes. Frontal lobe development and the refinement of pathways and connections continue until age 16, and a high rate of energy is used as the brain matures until age 20. Damage from alcohol at this time can be long-term and irreversible. In addition, short-term or moderate drinking impairs learning and memory far more in youth than adults. Adolescents need only drink half as much to suffer the same negative effects.”

Our youth need our help, so please get involved…click below.

Click here to learn more about CSPI’s campaign to urge the NBA to reverse it’s decision and re-instate it’s ban on courtside hard-liquor ads and reconsider its overall policy on alcohol advertising during telecast.

Click here to read the American Medical Association’s findings on the brain damage risks of alcohol to underage youth (12-20).

Click here to learn about CSPI’s Campaign for Alcohol-Free Sports TV.

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Lisa Frederiksen

Lisa Frederiksen

Author | Speaker | Consultant | Founder at
Lisa is the author of hundreds of articles and 11 books, including "If You Loved Me, You'd Stop!," "Addiction Recovery: What Helps, What Doesn't," and "Secondhand Drinking: the Phenomenon That Affects Millions." She is a national keynote speaker with over 25 years speaking experience, consultant, and founder of She has spent more than 14 years studying 21st century brain research in order to write, speak, and consult on substance use disorders prevention, intervention and treatment; mental disorders; addiction (aka substance use disorders) as a brain disease; adolescent addiction treatment vs adult addiction treatment; effective treatment for co-occurring disorders (having both a substance use and mental disorder); secondhand drinking | drugging; help for the family; and related subjects. In 2015, she founded SHD Prevention, providing training and consulting to companies, public agencies, unions, nonprofits and other entities to address the workplace impacts of employee secondhand drinking and alcohol misuse.
Lisa Frederiksen

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2 Responses to Alcohol Advertising Gone Wild

  1. Bill Urell says:

    I agree with you on alcohol advertising. But, I’d like to add what drug companies are doing. They are now bypassing medical professionals and marketing directly to consumers on TV. These are addictive drugs we are talking about, not sleepy butterflies that whisk you off too a smiling sleep.

    They flat out tell people to ask their doctors for these (addictive) drugs.

    This is very scary to me.

    Bill U

  2. LisaF says:

    Hi Bill U,
    Thank you so much for bringing this to everyone’s attention. This is very scary!

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