Advertising Alcoholic Beverages to Children Essay

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Advertising Alcoholic Beverages to Children

Alcohol manufacturers use a variety of unscrupulous techniques to advertise alcoholic beverages to children. Perhaps the worst example is Anheuser-Busch Co., the world's largest brewer, which uses child-enticing cartoon images of frogs, dogs, penguins and lizards in ads for Budweiser beer. These Budweiser cartoon characters are hugely popular with children, just like Joe Camel ads. A KidCom Marketing study once found these Budweiser cartoon character ads were American children's favorite ads. This is no accident. Anheuser-Busch is conducting an advertising campaign to get children to start drinking beer. These Budweiser ads are unconscionable. So are Phillip Morris's Miller Lite "twist to
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A municipality may not, therefore, simply pass a law saying "All alcohol advertising shall be prohibited." This would clearly be an unconstitutional infringement on commercial speech, as well as vague and overly broad. Municipalities must be selective and regulate those types of advertising which they can prove are linked to increasing minor consumption of alcohol.
Billboards
Billboards are a major forum for alcohol advertising. Children and teenagers are regularly subjected to these types of advertisements, but parents cannot effectively control their children's exposure to alcohol billboards. Billboards cannot be "turned off" like other types of advertising. A municipality probably may ban billboards advertising alcohol, if it can demonstrate that these billboards have an adverse effect on minors. The Supreme Court has found that billboards are a unique form of advertising and subject to extensive regulation. The City of Baltimore recently banned outdoor alcohol advertising and defeated the advertiser's free speech argument in court. A federal circuit court upheld the ban on alcohol advertising on billboards as not an unconstitutional infringement of the advertiser's right of free speech.
Warning Labels
Children and teenagers are adversely affected by advertising that glamorizes alcohol consumption. Unlike cigarette
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