Summer 2002 - AlcoholPolicyMD.com

alcoholpolicymd.com

Summer 2002 - AlcoholPolicyMD.com

Marauding MascotsThe NCAA basketball tournament, March Madness, isa springtime college ritual. The televised tournament hasfeatured beer ads for many years—but this year collegemascots got into the act.The University of Maryland’s Terrapin and some other familiarteam mascots were featured in Anheuser-Busch sponsored“responsibility” ads that aired during the last two playoffgames. A Matter of Degree (and its national program officeat the American Medical Association) was highly critical ofthe ad. A full-page ad in the Chronicle of Higher Educationdeclaring “This Bud’s Not for You” detailed concerns aboutbinge drinking on college campuses while noting that overhalf of all college students are younger than the legaldrinking age.The ineffectiveness of the “responsibility” message becameevident, as campus celebrations quickly became sports riots.Fueled by alcohol—win or lose—students “celebrated.”In College Park, Maryland, home of the NCAA Division 1Champion Maryland Terrapins, an alcohol-soaked celebrationof more than 50,000 students resulted in 17 arrests. Studentsvandalized highway signs, set fires and threw rocks and bottles.In the early morning hours police in riot gear dispersed thecrowd using tear gas.When questioned, Terp’s Coach Gary Williams said, “This isthe first time Maryland got a chance to win a national basketballchampionship,” and defended loyal fans having the rightto “do anything they want.” The Coach’s comments wereroundly criticized later by local residents and downplayedby University administration.AlternativeSpring BreaksSpring break means community service on a growing numberof college campuses. Over 90% of parents, surveyed as partof Spring Break Alert!, would like to see a community servicerequirement added to graduation requirements.Habitat for Humanity created the Collegiate Challenge toprovide meaningful experiences as an alternative to alcoholand consumer oriented events. This year over 10,000 collegestudents helped build and rehabilitate homes at 190 worksitesacross the nation and demonstrated a lasting form of schoolspirit. One school, Boston College, sent 279 students to 16different locations in Appalachia to work on homes this year.Florida State University takes this idea to international levels.Their spring break public service programs allowed studentsto work in the Ukraine or Panama. College campuses aretaking a second look at public service as an option that broadensyoung minds while offering a positive alternative activitywith friends.What would happen if theNCAA scored fan behavior alongwith team performance?Lehigh University Provides Community with RAMP TrainingCarolyn Crew, Communications ManagerA Matter of Degree, Lehigh UniversityPennsylvania’s Northampton and Lehigh county liquor outletsare enthusiastically embracing Responsible Alcohol ManagementProgram (RAMP) training provided through the efforts of acommunity collaboration spearheaded by Lehigh University’sA Matter of Degree program. Lehigh, working in collaborationwith other community members and the Pennsylvania LiquorControl Board (PLCB), provides RAMP training at no costfor local taverns, restaurants, and liquor and beer distributors.Dramatic changes in Pennsylvania law impose stricter fines andpenalties for serving underage or visibly intoxicated personsheightening interest. The first training session for 2001, heldin May, drew such an overwhelming response from licenseesthat a second summer session needed to be scheduled tomeet the demand.“Reducing alcohol abuse requires a strong campus and communitypartnership,” said John W. Smeaton, vice provost forstudent affairs and director of Lehigh’s A Matter of Degreeprogram. “We have made substantial progress in reducingalcohol-related problems on campus in recent years. Equallyimportant, however, are off-campus collaborations to fosterresponsible hospitality practices. I have been extremelypleased by the willingness of local merchants to work withour coalition.”The new state law, Act 141, authorizes the PLCB to modifythe responsible alcohol service program to licensees. It createsincentives for licensees to take advantage of responsible alcoholmanagement training, establishes increased fines for licenseeswho sell alcohol to visibly intoxicated patrons, and significantlychanges the way liquor licenses will be distributed.Compliance requires a full half of all bartenders, wait staff,and door persons to receive training. The owner or managermust also successfully complete the training, and all newstaff must undergo new employee orientation. Responsibleservice signs must also be posted on the premises. In 2000,Pennsylvania authorities surveyed a representative sample ofalcohol licensees across the state and found that half of allbusinesses report that in the past two years, they have mademajor changes to their policies on responsible alcohol salesand service training, including ID checks and postingwarning signs.Lehigh’s “A Matter of Degree” program has been extremelysuccessful in establishing a campus–community coalition toaddress the problems of abusive drinking and the secondhandeffects this drinking has on other students and neighbors.Through an integrated combination of programs, policies andeducational campaigns, Lehigh has been working to transformthe culture and the campus and community environment thatencourages drinking and contributes to alcohol and alcoholrelatedproblems. The program has raised awareness of theproblem, expanded new non-alcoholic social events forstudents, and improved relationships and cooperation withtheir neighbors in Bethlehem. Alcohol policies, implementedin fall 1999, outlined clear expectations and consequencesfor alcohol use and abuse. Programs aimed at changing thecampus culture resulted in dramatic reductions in alcohol-relatedcrimes on campus and an increase in new social activities.Beach Blanket Binge DrinkingCollege Spring Break packages with the emphasis on excessivealcohol consumption were the focus of Spring Break Alert!,a media initiative by A Matter of Degree, funded by the RobertWood Johnson Foundation. Tapping their own memoriesmany parents envision scenes from classic movies such asWhere the Boys Are and How to Stuff a Wild Bikini.Parents learned that today beach blanket bingo has been replacedby “booze cruises” and other alcohol based events in campuspromotions that began as soon as students returned in autumn.When questioned, 80% of parents surveyed by Penn, Schoen& Berland for A Matter of Degree agreed with a proposalto limit access to bars and nightclubs to those age 21 andolder. For the students, they learned that 70% of parentssurveyed are no longer willing to pay for spring break revelry.One community—Panama City Beach Florida—created a 12-page insert that appeared on campuses across the nation. Thepromotion included a letter from the Chief of Police with thestrong implication underage drinking and open container lawswould not be strictly enforced. Public and parent backlash, aswell a public relations black eye forced Panama City Beachto back away from future alcohol focused advertising.Tallahassee, Florida City Commissioner Steve Meisburghad harsh words for spring break advertising, “The kind ofadvertising we see in abundance around town—drink specials,gender-based specials, wet T-shirt contest—only encouragesexcessive drinking. If we had the power at the local level, asmany cities around the country do, I think we could begin toaddress that and limit or eliminate it.”The father of Andrew Gugliemi, a student killed when he fellfrom a balcony following a spring break drinking spree, createda vivid picture of possible consequences.“It was like a warzone,” said Frank Gugliemi, describing the emergency room.He implored parents and college students to see “the darkside to the spring break madness.” His statements were a sadprelude to later events.Days later, while ABC news reporter Michelle Norris wascovering spring break in Cancun, a young American studentwas wheeled into the emergency room she was visiting andpronounced dead from alcohol-related injuries. The scenelater aired on the ABC Evening News as an emotional codafor break coverage.Creating Solutions by Changing Environments Summer 2002 page 5


NBC Reverses Decisionto Air Liquor AdsBuckling under pressure from privately owned affiliates plusa wide variety of public interest, health and advocacy groups,NBC reversed its decision to air hard liquor ads. In a briefstatement, network executives noted that a number of groupshad objected to the change—but referred only to AMA andCongressional criticism.NBC took some hits from members of the NBC family aswell as the general public. Jay Leno joked that NBC reallystood for “Nothing But Cocktails” shortly after the initialannouncement. In January, long time newsman John Palmermade his opposition public.A number of independently owned affiliates had alreadyannounced that hard liquor ads would be replaced by publicservice announcements. Other stations reserved the right todecide whether to air the liquor ads on a case-by-case basis.Affiliate owners made it clear to concerned consumerscontacting local stations that NBC had not consulted orinformed affiliates of their plan in advance.The American Medical Association ran a full page ad in theNew York Times on February 27, using the same cautionarylanguage found on cigarette packs proclaiming, “WatchingNBC may be hazardous to your children’s health.” Numerousgroups including the American Public Health Association,voiced public support for the AMA’s stand and called onNBC to reconsider.On March 18, reports aired that the powerful House Energyand Commerce Committee was making plans to hold publichearings on NBC advertising. On March 20, NBC abruptlyreversed its decision, making its announcement after the NewYork Stock Exchange ended trading for the week.Shortly after the announcement, Dr. J. Edward Hill, Chair(then Chair-elect) of the American Medical Association Boardof Trustees, wrote a letter to Alan Wertzel of NBC, thankingNBC for the decision and praising the network for puttingchildren above profits.Some weeks later a letter from Dr. Hill was printed in theWall Street Journal outlining the AMA’s rationale for thetough public stance on underage alcohol use. “It makes uscaring physicians doing our job,” he wrote.Graphic copy of the adMaria to get in e-mail.NBC-4 and NCCPUD—Working for YouthBy Cynthia W. Simms, Communications DirectorNational Capital Coalition to Prevent Underage DrinkingWashington, DCFor nearly 50 years, the major television broadcastingnetworks had a voluntary ban on hard alcohol advertisements.On December 13, 2001, NBC announced a new policy thatwould air distilled spirits advertising after 9 p.m. NBCwas the first of the major broadcast networks to publiclyexplore ending the ban.NBC then entered into a multi-million dollar advertisingcontract with Guinness UDV, a leader in distilled spirits, whosebrands include; Smirnoff lce (a popular drink with the under21 crowd), Johnnie Walker scotch, and Tanqueray gin. Inopposition to NBC’s decision, a coalition was formed, “StopLiquor Ads on NBC.” The National Capital Coalition toPrevent Underage Drinking (NCCPUD) in Washington, DC,demonstrated as part of planned demonstrations nationallyto “Stop Liquor Ads on NBC.” The NCCPUD Youth Advocateswrote letters to the local NBC station manager, the CEO ofNBC, the Mayor of the District of Columbia, Rep. EleanorHolmes Norton, and members of the DC City Council. A pressrelease was distributed to NBC, CBS, FOX, ABC, and to theU.S. Newswire advising them of the scheduled demonstrationsat NBC headquarters on February 12, 2002.Following release of the letter and press release, the network’sstation manager contacted NCCPUD before the planneddemonstration requesting a meeting. Their request for a meetingincluded the additional request not to demonstrate, but thedemonstration went ahead.More than 40 NCCPUD youth advocates carried signs andshouted, “NBC is not Must See TV,” “NBC Sells Out,” and“NBC stands for No Body Cares.” The station manager andthe community affairs director met with a few of the youth infront of NBC headquarters and told them that they welcomedthe opportunity to meet and discuss their opposition to thehard liquor advertisements.NCCPUD’s Nadine Parker, Director, Cynthia Simms,Communications Director, and six Youth Advocates fromfour high schools throughout DC were joined by JohnettaDavis of PIRE and Ellen Thorpe of The Catholic Universityof America on Tuesday, February 6, 2002, at NBC’s headquartersin northwest DC to discuss why NBC should notlift the ban. Representing NBC were Linda Sullivan, StationManager, Angela Owens, Director Station Communications,Donna L. Weston, VP, Marketing, Community & Programming,and Aica Karma, Director Community Affairs.After the young people spoke, Catholic University representativeEllen Thorpe provided the college perspective on hard liquoradvertisements and the special drink promotions targetingcollege students.NBC representatives were clearly troubled by the presentations.Station representatives felt the young people expressed validconcern on how the ads affect underage drinkers. But standingfirm, NBC offered the 19 “NBC Advertising Guidelines forAlcohol Products” and held closely to the network decision.When one advocate suggested equal time for alcohol abuseprevention spots NBC’s Sullivan was receptive. She suggestedscheduling another meeting with her staff and offered the useof NBC’s facility to assist NCCPUD in developing the ads.At the promised follow-up meeting, both groups begandiscussing the ads that were on the airwaves. One ad was for“Bacardi Silver,” an alcopop appealing to many underageyouth. The ad aired at 9:15 p.m. and NCCPUD’s Director’s11-year-old son was still up and watching television. A lengthydiscussion ensued about treatment of the alcopops; how theyshould be viewed in advertisements, and what they are madeof (they are not liquor, beer, wine, or a wine cooler).NCCPUD Youth Advocates Demonstrate Outside of NBC Studios in Washington D.C.Creating Solutions by Changing Environments Summer 2002 page 6


Do you believe? AnAssociated Press Pollfound that 80% ofteens support keepingthe minimum legaldrinking age at 21.Zippershots: Jell-O Look-AlikeWith A Dangerous DifferenceZippershots are small tubs of liquor-laced dessert gelatin,packaged like the Jell-O brand gelatin treats you may haveenjoyed or included in a school lunch.Look again! Zippershots are a new, 24 proof, 12% alcohol,sweet, fruit-flavored alcohol product.Children—especially younger pre-readers—are at risk of alcoholpoisoning if they consume this appealing treat. For example,two zippers may send a 17-lb. child to the emergency room.The packaging also makes this a stealth cocktail that is likelyto pop up at proms, class picnics and other events where springfever is rampant. Unlike alcopops, such as Smirnoff or DocOtis’ Hard Lemonade, Zippershots contain distilled spirits—hard liquor.The external packaging is labeled “contains alcohol” andfeatures a photograph of a baby with the universal red circleand slash symbol for “don’t” superimposed on the picture.The real danger occurs when the individual servings areremoved from the outside packaging and the labeling is farfrom clear. Unsuspecting toddlers, those who simply miss thewarning labels and those who are deliberately deceived aboutthe liquor content of the product are at risk. The packagingalso makes it possible for underage drinkers to consumealcohol right underneath the teacher’s watchful gaze.Richard Yoast, Director of the AMA’s Office of Alcohol andOther Drug Abuse, suggests two steps for concerned citizens.First: Stop by your grocery store (if it is licensed to selldistilled spirits) and liquor store to let them know in no uncertainterms that you do not want to see Zippershots in yourcommunity. Consumer backlash is a powerful tool, use it!Second: Contact Bradley A. Buckles, Director, Bureau ofAlcohol Tobacco and Firearms, Department of the Treasury,650 Massachusetts Ave, NE, Washington, D.C. 20226. Indicateto him that the current packaging, barcode and labeling ofthis product presents a serious risk to the health and welfareof children which requires his immediate action.Keg Registration—Public Policy UpdateOne look at the map makes it clear: the battle of the beer kegwill be won—one state at a time.Twenty states, plus the District of Columbia, now have someform of beer keg registration. Beer keg registration is a simple,cost effective way to link every beer keg purchase with anadult. Registration ends the anonymous “keg in the kornfield”or campus “keggers” parties that often attract underage drinkers.Putting an adult’s name, address and identity on every kegpurchase has a powerful chilling effect on individuals whohave thoughtlessly provided beer kegs never knowing wherethey are consumed or by whom.Big Liquor Lays itOn the Line“DISCUS is working to ensure cultural acceptance of alcoholbeverages for ’normalizing’ them in the minds of consumersas a healthy part of a normal lifestyle, he [Peter Cressy, CEOof the Distilled Spirits Council] said.“If an 18-year-old is old enough to vote, then an 18-year-oldis old enough to suffer the consequences of misusing an ID,”Cressy said. “Before we hammer retailers and owners outthere who are trying to be responsible citizens, let’s hammeradult adolescents who use false IDs.”Taken from Nightclub Magazine, March 2000.Smart Glass? Or aReally Dumb Idea“A new pint glass will be able to signal bar staff when it needsto be refilled, according to a report in New Scientist magazine.The iGlass was developed by a Japanese electronic company,and utilizes a radio frequency coil in its base that emits a signalto a receiver set in the table when it’s empty.”From Modern Brewery Age, April 15, 2002States with Beer Keg RegistrationStates with Beer Keg Registration PendingCreating Solutions by Changing Environments Summer 2002 page 7


TIONPortions from the Declaration of the TechnicalConsultation to the World Health Organizationon the Marketing and Promotion of Alcoholto Young PeopleResearch evidence suggests that young people respond to this marketing onan emotional level, changing their beliefs and expectations about drinking.The marketing clearly influences young people’s decision to drink. Exposureto and enjoyment of alcohol advertising predicts heavier and more frequentdrinking among young people. The marketing contributes to young peopleover-estimating the prevalence of heavy and frequent drinking among theirpeers, and creates a climate for further increases in alcohol consumptionby young people.Current responses are piecemeal and inadequate, and have done little tocontrol the marketing of alcohol products. Evidence suggests that self-regulationby the alcohol, advertising and media industries is ineffective. Media literacy,training young people to de-code and resist marketing messages, by itself isinsufficient to address the emotional and non-logical appeal of the marketing.New responses are required. The global nature of the marketing demands aresponse at international, national and local levels.ContactsAMA Office of Alcohol and Other Drug AbuseRichard Yoast, PhDTina MosleyDirectorStaff AssistantAMA Office of Alcohol and tina_mosley@ama-assn.orgOther Drug AbuseMary Kizerrichard_yoast@ama-assn.orgAdministrative AssistantLenny Lamkinmary_kizer@ama-assn.orgDeputy DirectorGeorgianne CooperAMA Office of Alcohol andAdministrative AssistantOther Drug Abusegeorgianne_cooper@lenny_lamkin@ama-assn.orgama-assn.orgJulia ShermanVisit us on the web at http://Editor, ExChangewww.ama-assn.org/go/alcoholCommunications DirectorReducing Underage DrinkingThrough Coalitionsjulia_sherman@ama-assn.orgDanny ChunCommunications DirectorA Matter of Degreedanny_chun@ama-assn.orgNearly 45 representatives from over a dozen countries met in Valencia, Spain to discuss the impact of alcohol advertisingon teens. At the conclusion of the meeting, attendees adopted the advisory statement, excerpted above, on future researchand action on this public health concern.Creating Solutions by Changing Environments Summer 2002 page 8American Medical AssociationPhysicians dedicated to the health of America515 North State StreetChicago, Illinois 60610ERICAMANMEDICALAASSOCINON-PROFITU.S. POSTAGEPAIDAMERICANMEDICALASSOCIATIONCreating Solutions by Changing EnvironmentsComing in the next issue ofLocal options:zoning, density andordinanceswww.ama-assn.org/go/alcohol

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