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The Clock's Running Out on Super Bowl Beer Ads


Marin Institute Press Release
January 30, 2008

SAN RAFAEL, CA (January 30, 2008) --- Marin Institute, the alcohol industry watchdog, is demanding that National Football League (NFL) commissioner Roger Goodell, and August Bush IV, CEO of Anheuser-Bush (A-B), stop advertising and marketing beer during the Super Bowl, a sporting event known to reach millions of young viewers.

Kids tuning in to see a great football game are saturated with funny commercials glorifying beer drinking. What the NFL claims is wholesome family-friendly entertainment is actually helping to fuel an epidemic of underage drinking across the US,” said Bruce Livingston, executive director of Marin Institute. “Both the National Football League and Anheuser-Busch are profiting while America’s youth suffer. There is nothing wholesome or family-friendly about it.”

Marin Institute strongly believes alcohol advertising has no place in televised sports, an opinion shared by a large majority of Americans. A survey by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) notes that 72 percent of Americans say that showing beer ads during sporting events is inconsistent with the positive role of sports for children.

Anheuser-Busch has invested $250 million worth of ad time in the biggest television event of the year over the last two decades in an effort to establish alcohol advertising as part of the Super Bowl tradition. In 2007, their clever, colorful, ads reached 16.7 million viewers under the age of 21 -- an audience known to respond to sex, humor, animals and beer. But the influence doesn’t stop there. In recent years, the ads have been strategically planted around the web, on sites like YouTube, where they’ve reached millions more youth in the days and months following the event.

While Anheuser-Busch asks consumers to ‘drink responsibly,’ it’s time for Anheuser-Busch to advertise responsibly. With so many impressionable young minds tuning in to the Super Bowl, they should not be drowned in beer ads, no matter how funny the ads may be,” stated Michael J. Scippa, advocacy director of Marin Institute. “Underage alcohol abuse wastes lives and billions of dollars annually and that’s not funny at all.”

Alcohol is by far the most used drug among teenagers. Each year more than 3,000 people die from alcohol-related injuries involving underage drinking. Other societal impacts include crime, violence, unsafe sex, and suicide.

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