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Alcohol: New Products & New Problems

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  1. NABCA Administrators Conference October 26, 2007 Alcohol: New Products & New Problems Marlene Trestman Special Assistant to the Maryland Attorney General

  2. Role of State Attorneys General • NAAG Youth Access to Alcohol Committee – started 2004 • Goal - Reduce Underage Drinking & Underage Access to Alcohol • Authority - State Consumer Protection Laws – Sales/Marketing to Underage Persons is an Unfair Trade Practice; Misleading Health Claims

  3. Public Health Problem • 17% of 8th graders and 45% of 12th graders reported drinking in last 30 days; 11% of 8th graders and 25% of 12th graders reported binge drinking (5 or more drinks in a row) within past 2 weeks. (Johnston et al., 2007) • Underage drinking results more than 4500 deaths per year among underage persons. (CDC. Alcohol-related disease impact: • Kids who start drinking before age 15 are 5 times more likely to suffer alcohol problems than those who wait until age 21. (U.S. Surgeon General, 2007)

  4. Reduce Underage Thirst • Alcohol Remains #1 Illegal Drug of Choice for Underage Persons • Lessons Learned from Tobacco Litigation and from enforcing 1998 Master Settlement Agreement

  5. AG Actions • Examine Industry Marketing Practices • Ads – Quantity & Content • Media • Products (FMB’s/Alcopops & Alcohol Energy Drinks) • Examine Industry Self-Monitoring Programs • Educate & Increase Public Awareness • Work With National and State Regulators

  6. Public Health Research – Advertising as Risk Factor • The more alcohol advertising young people report having seen on TV, radio, billboards and in magazines, the more likely they are to drink and drink more. • The more advertising in young people’s environments, the more likely they are to drink more, even when studies controlled for the amount of alcohol sales in those environments. (Snyder et al., Jan. 2006) • The more TV programs containing alcohol commercials seventh graders in Los Angeles saw, the more likely they were to drink alcohol, and to have three or more drinks on a single occasion. (Stacy et al., 2004) • Kids who were exposed to in-store beer displays, to alcohol ads in magazines or beer concession stands at sports or music events were more likely to drink more. (Ellickson et al., 2005)

  7. Alcohol Industry Ad Placement Standards • Industry Standard – 70% age 21+ “[O]ur members have revised the standard for advertising placements … to require placements only where where the proportion of the audience above age 21 is reasonable expected to be 70% or higher. This standard reflects the demographics of the US population, in which approximately 70% of the public is age 21 or older.” Statement of Jeff Becker, Beer Institute President, Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, Subcommittee on Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services, 9.30.2003

  8. But 30% is not proportional to the population at risk • 30% standard is roughly double the percentage of youth ages 12-20. • Industry standard results in overexposure of underage persons – relative to their presence in the general population. • Persons aged 12-20 = 13% of the population according to US Census.

  9. AG’s Comments to FTC • May 2006 – 20 AG’s urged FTC to take a hard look at the role advertising plays in promoting underage drinking • Collect data on spending in all media • Examine whether current industry ad standard is adequate to prevent overexposure

  10. Camel Coasters • Nov. – Dec. 2005 • Halted a tobacco company promotion that featured alcoholic beverage recipes with excessive drinking messages

  11. Bud.TV • October 2006 and February 2007 • 23 States called on Anheuser-Busch to prevent underage access to Internet based entertainment network • 24-hour live and on-demand music downloads, films created by celebrities • Images include skateboarder, football player, sportscaster, race car and chimpanzee

  12. Recognize Industry Steps • SELECTIVE BINDING - DISCUS members agreed to remove ads from school library issues of Newsweek, Time, USN&WR, SI and People (March 2006) • STRICTER AD PLACEMENT & MARKETING POLICIES – by Beam Global & Sazerac (2007) • Raise ad placement standard to 75% legal age audience (85% annual yearly avg. aggregate) • No FMB’s • No “Spring Break” marketing

  13. FMB’s/Alcopops • Sweet, often fruit flavored alcohol beverages are popular with youth, especially teen girls • “Starter beverages” for young persons who don’t like beer taste • CDC reports liquor and FMB’s may be more popular among 9-12th graders

  14. Alcohol Energy Drinks • May 10, 2007 – 29 AG’s Write to A-B about Spykes and Other AED’s • Highly attractive to youth • Energy drink stimulants do not offset alcohol, but drinkers believe they do (Ferreira et al., April 2006) • August 20, 2007 – 30 AG’s Write to TTB about formulation and marketing of AED’s • TTB’s 2005 Announcements – Authority to Prohibit Misleading Health-Related Statements for Malt Beverages and Distilled Spirits With Energy Ingredients

  15. “The beauty of drinking caffeinated booze is that you’re always awake enough to drive!”

  16. Spykes (12%)

  17. AG’s May 10, 2007 Letter to A-B re: Spykes & Other AED’s • 29 AG’s • Small Size – nail polish bottle • Chocolate & Fruit Flavors • Caffeine, Ginseng & Guarana • Malt Beverage = available in grocery & convenience stores • “A Spykes pour takes beer up a notch by adding a caffeinated rush.”

  18. SPARKS (6%) & SPARKS PLUS (7%)McKenzie River/Miller

  19. B-TO-THE-E/BUD EXTRA (6.6%)Anheuser-Busch “Who’s up for staying out all night.” “Say hello to an endless night of fun.” “Stay around for every twist of the ride.” “You can sleep when you’re 30.”

  20. ROCKSTAR 21 (6%)

  21. ROCKSTAR 21 Discontinuing Sales In California and Oregon

  22. TILT (6.6 & 8%)Anheuser-Busch MAX (6%)

  23. TORQUE (6.6%) Point Blank Beverage Co. 24/7 (7%) Mix Master Beverage Co. HARD WIRED (6.9%) Hard Wired Brewing Co.

  24. 3SUM (6%) United Brands LIQUID CHARGE (6.9%) Charge Beverages LIQUID CORE (6.9%) Charge Beverages “Whether you are working a 9 to 5, pulling an all-nighter or just need a little extra help to keep you going…Liquid Core provides you that charge.” “A new power source for the 21st century.” “The most powerful formula available.”

  25. JOOSE (9.9% ABV /23.5 oz.) United Brands Co. • Caffeine, Guarana, Taurine • “Just keep in mind this may not be legal in some states…. That [9.9% alcohol content] is going to put us ahead of everybody else.” • Joose also has “a little bit of mango, a little bit of papaya and a little bit of lightning.” (United Brands Sales VP Terry Kester, in Beverage World 8.29.2007)


  27. FOUR (6%)Phusion Project/Drink Four Brewing Co. • Berry-flavored • Four Ingredients: Caffeine, Taurine, Guarana, and “Wondrous Wormwood oil” • Wormwood Oil – Can contain Thujone = herbal extract in Absinthe • “Wormwood oil is Four’s Point of Differentiation.” “Aphrodisiac effects.” • Chris Hunter, Phusion Products, Inc., The Red and Black, 9.18.2007

  28. Energy Spirits • Pink Vodka (p.i.n.k. Spirits) • Shotpak Energy Vodka (Shotpak, Inc.) • 3am All Night Vodka energy drink (3 Vodka) • There’s also a 3 a.m. All-Night Vodka energy drink, with caffeine, taurine, guarana, and B-vitamins. Like the ubiquitous energy drink-and-vodka cocktails served at bars and club venues, 3 A.M. provides the charge you need to "stay in the game.“ • Zygo Vodka • “Contains guarana, taurine and yerba matte - giving it a caffeinated kick. It's tagged as being ‘the morning vodka,’ referring to the fact that it's supposed to keep you going until dawn - not because it should bedrunk in the morning.”