STUDY: HISPANIC YOUTH 'OVEREXPOSED' TO ALCOHOL ADS

Advocacy Group Claims Five Markets Targeted by Advertisers

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WASHINGTON (AdAge.com) -- A group tracking alcohol marketing claims Hispanic youth are exposed to more alcohol ads than non-Hispanic youth.

The Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth released findings from its latest report yesterday claiming Hispanic youths saw 24% more beer and ale ads and 32% more ads for malternatives than non-Hispanic youths in English-language magazines, and heard 9% more distilled spirits advertising and 17% more ads for "low-alcohol refreshers" on English-language radio stations.

Hispanic markets
The report also says alcohol advertisers

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spend $23.6 million in 2002 on advertising in 12 of the 15 English- and Spanish-language TV programs most popular with Hispanic youths, and that in five media markets -- Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, San Antonio and San Francisco -- Hispanic youth were "overexposed" to alcohol ads on radio and TV.

According to the report, the five markets were among seven markets that accounted for 85% of the spending by alcohol advertisers on Spanish-language TV.

Provocative statements
"What [the group] is doing is trying to drum up a tidal wave of concern," said Richard O'Brien, executive vice president of the American Association of Advertising Agencies. "They go through enormous contortions to make provocative statements."

"This report details what many in the Hispanic community have suspected, that their youth are seeing and hearing more alcohol advertising than youth in other communities," David Jernigan, research direct at the center, said in a statement.

The report sites U.S. Census figures indicating the number of Hispanics under 21 grew 61% between 1990 and 2000, totaling 17% of the nation's youth under 21 in 2000.

Past reports criticized
Alcohol and advertising industry officials have strongly criticized the accuracy of the Georgetown University-based group's previous reports.

"The premise being argued is [that] advertisers take their limited dollars to get 15% of the audience," Mr. O'Brien said. "No businessman in his right mind would do that."

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