This Bud’s Not For You (It’s For Your Dad)

I started drinking beer when I was 15 (the drinking age at the time was 18). Did I do it because cleverly crafted 30-second TV spots told me to? No. I did it because I liked to become intoxicated. But never mind all that.
Ad Age reports that state attorney generals do see a connection between advertising and underage drinking.

Unleashing a fresh attack on alcoholic beverage advertising, 20 state attorneys general are urging the Federal Trade Commission to limit alcohol ads to media in which only 15% of the audience is aged 12 to 20.
A 15% standard could have potentially far-reaching effects on alcohol advertising, sharply limiting its access to sports programming. It could also affect radio and Internet ads as well as some magazines.
Liquor and advertising associations have denied there is a causal relationship between advertising and underage drinking and questioned whether the government can legally impose any ad limits, and argue that their advertising is reaching mostly adults.

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. David,
    While I can’t speak on your personal alcohol issues, I would argue that today’s booze marketing is different than what was done in your day (although I have no idea how old you are). Now marketers are using lots of techniques to hook younger drinkers. The jury committee on American Idol has not yet abandoned Cokes for Heinekens, but it’s only a matter of time.