Study: Beer Industry Self-Regulation of Advertising is Ineffective

AJPHBeer producers regulating their own advertisements are failing to meet the U.S. Beer Institute’s own guidelines, researchers from the University of Connecticut have found. The researchers evaluated all beer ads broadcasted nationally during NCAA basketball games between 1999 and 2008. Between 35% and 74% of the ads violated the industry trade group's code, depending on the code version, exclusion criteria, and scoring method. “For ten years the beer industry has been targeting young people with advertisements that violate its own self-regulation codes,” said Thomas Babor, principal investigator. “Unless the responsibility for pre-vetting ads is transferred to an independent authority charged with protecting vulnerable populations, we cannot expect much improvement by the industry.” For more on the failure of industry self-regulation re: spirits producers, see our report Why Big Alcohol Can’t Police Itself.