As expected, the US drinks industry has tightened its ad guidelines in response to research on underage drinking.

The Beer Institute and the Distilled Spirits Council have both announced that member firms will henceforth place ads only in media where at least 70% of the audience is adult. Although the nation’s three biggest brewers already follow this practice, the official target was previously 50%.

The move follows a study into alcohol advertising by the Federal Trade Commission, which found widespread compliance with the code but concluded that this still “permitted the ads to reach a substantial youth audience” [WAMN: 09-Sep-03].

The introduction of the new threshold also coincides with the release of research by the National Academy of Science’s Institute of Medicine and National Research. This study recommends greater scrutiny of alcohol promotion and the use of ads warning against underage drinking.

Data sourced from: USA Today; additional content by WARC staff