DISCUS

JAMA Alcohol Advertising Study Filled with Flagrant Errors

May 12, 2003 08:00 PM
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Distilled Spirits Council today challenged another Robert Wood Johnson Foundation-funded study on magazine alcohol advertising published in the May 14 Journal of the American Medical Association, calling it, “typical of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation–funded advocacy efforts: rife with flagrant technical errors bordering on junk science.” Frank Coleman, Senior Vice President of the Distilled Spirits Council said, “One fact that can be derived from this latest effort: the distilled spirits industry’s magazine advertising is directed to an overwhelmingly adult audience – 84 percent of gross impressions according to the study’s own figures.” Coleman cited several now discredited studies funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation -- including two by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse which forced numerous media retractions -- as evidence that the Foundation is more interested in advocacy rather than facts. The Distilled Spirits Council and its member companies are strongly committed to responsible marketing and advertising policies directed to adults. The industry adheres to a 69-year-old Code of Good Practice governing the member companies’ advertising and marketing practices. Coleman emphasized the distilled spirits industry’s strong commitment to fighting underage drinking. He pointed to the efforts of The Century Council, the distilled spirits industry’s not-for-profit organization which has spent more than $130 million over the last 12 years on community programs to reduce illegal, underage drinking. He also pointed out that studies show underage drinking has continued to decline. According to the federal government’s own National Household Survey on Drug Abuse, alcohol consumption among 12 to 17 year olds has declined 47 percent since 1990. “If Robert Wood Johnson spent as much on real programs instead of flawed studies for press attention, we might see further improvement in the decline in underage drinking,” he concluded. CONTACT: Frank Coleman or Lisa Hawkins Telephone: 202-682-8840 SCROLLER Publication Name: Publication Author:
 

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