Alcohol companies are increasingly using the latest new media technologies — including cellphones, social networking sites, YouTube and other features of the expanding digital universe — to reach young drinkers, a new report contends.
And existing regulations may not be keeping up with the marketing trend, the report’s authors added.
They’re calling on the Federal Trade Commission, state attorney generals and others to investigate the phenomenon and examine whether current mechanisms to protect youth from alcohol marketing still work effectively in the digital era.
Young people are being exposed to a 24/7 “digital marketing ecosystem that is transforming the nature of advertising,” said Kathryn Montgomery, a professor of public communication at American University in Washington, D.C. and co-author of the report, titled Alcohol Marketing in the Digital Age.
“Youth are at the center of an exploding digital culture,” added Montgomery, who, with another co-author of the report, Jeff Chester, executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy, spoke at a Tuesday teleconference.