DISCUS Supports “We Don’t Serve Teens” Safe Summer: The Next Wave of FTC Responsibility Campaign

WASHINGTON — The Distilled Spirits Council is joining with dozens of national organizations in supporting the next wave of the Federal Trade Commission’s “We Don’t Serve Teens” campaign to help get the word out that serving alcohol to teens is unsafe, illegal and irresponsible.

The campaign is being launched today to coincide with the summer months when teens are at a higher risk to start drinking and teen drunk driving deaths are at their highest.

“As the school year comes to a close and teens shed their book bags for beach towels, communities must be extra vigilant against underage drinking,” said Peter Cressy, Distilled Spirits Council president.

The “We Don’t Serve Teens” education campaign is based on research showing that most teens who drink obtain alcohol from social sources — including sneaking alcohol from their parents’ homes; having older friends buy it; or obtaining it at parties.   The “Safe Summer” campaign website, www.dontserveteens.gov/safesummer.html, provides information about teen drinking, how to reduce teens’ access to alcohol, practical tips for parents on talking to teens about alcohol and camera ready campaign materials.

Over the past two years, the “We Don’t Serve Teens” campaign has been supported by a diverse group of public and private partners, including America’s leading distillers, federal, state, and local governments, advertising and media organizations, and consumer groups.

The 2007 “We Don’t Serve Teens” Back-to-School campaign generated an unprecedented 1.1 billion advertising impressions with a market value of over $9 million, and was recognized by the U.S. Senate and officials from 40 states.

“Last year’s ‘We Don’t Serve Teens’ campaign was hailed as one of the most successful public service campaigns in history.  These types of public-private partnerships are truly making a positive impact in the fight against underage drinking,” said Cressy, who pointed to the latest National Youth Risk Behavior Survey released yesterday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which showed the percent of teens who reported having at least one drink of alcohol during the past 30 days has dropped from 50% in 1999 to 44.7% in 2007.

Organizations supporting the campaign include the Distilled Spirits Council, U.S. Department of Treasury’s Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, American Beverage Licensees, Beer Institute, National Alcohol Beverage Control Association, National Association of Broadcasters, National Conference of State Liquor Administrators, National Liquor Law Enforcement Association, National Consumer League, Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools, Outdoor Advertising Association of America, Responsible Retailing Forum, Students Against Destructive Decisions, The Century Council, and Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America.