July 15, 2002 08:00 PM
WASHINGTON, DC, July 16, 2002 – Distilled Spirits Council Senior Vice President Frank Coleman today chided CSPI for its latest attack on flavored malt beverage advertising as a “publicity stunt rerun.” Coleman noted that less than six weeks ago, the Federal Trade Commission concluded a year-long investigation and dismissed CSPI’s identical 2001 allegations about flavored malt beverages. In closing its investigation, the FTC ruled last month that CSPI’s complaint was without merit. The FTC found no evidence “that the products and their advertising are targeted to consumers under 21” and concluded that CSPI’s consumer research methodology was flawed. (See attached letter) “CSPI is blatantly ignoring the federal government’s action on this issue,” said Coleman. “Another press conference will not change the facts -- their claims were without merit then and they are without merit now.” He pointed out that in 1999 the FTC released a Report to Congress on “Self-Regulation in the Alcohol Industry,” after an exhaustive review of the advertising for all forms of beverage alcohol – distilled spirits, beer and wine. The Report commended the beverage alcohol industry’s efforts to ensure that its advertising is intended for adults and concluded that industry self-regulation is working. Coleman concluded, “We are a responsible industry committed to responsible advertising. We do not target our ads at underage individuals nor do we want them as our customers.” CONTACT: Lisa Hawkins or Frank Coleman Telephone: 202-682-8840 SCROLLER Publication Name: Publication Author:


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