Distilled Spirits Council President Peter Cressy made the following statement today regarding the new federally-funded underage drinking advertising campaign, “Start Talking Before They Start Drinking”: The Distilled Spirits Council commends the federal government and the Ad Council for launching a new public service advertising campaign encouraging parents to talk to their 11 to15-year-old children about alcohol. The campaign, developed by the Substance and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the Ad Council, is based on research that shows parents are a primary influence over their child’s decisions regarding drinking. In addition, data from the National Academy of Sciences, the Federal Trade Commission, the American Medical Association and the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, as well as from The Century Council, also show most youth obtain alcohol primarily through non-commercial sources such as parents, family, friends and other adults over 21. The distillers believe that public-private partnerships are an essential component of any program to combat alcohol abuse and we will continue our longstanding efforts to encourage parents to talk to their sons and daughters about alcohol. Over the decades, the spirits industry has developed numerous public service messages and programs for parents such as the 1956 Seagram ad, “Wise fathers make the time to talk…to teach…to help mold the boy into the man.” Recently, The Century Council, a not-for-profit organization funded by America’s leading distillers launched Ask, Listen, Learn: Kids and Alcohol Don’t Mix, a highly creative multimedia program, developed in partnership with Nickelodeon. www.asklistenlearn.com Designed by a team of experts specializing in middle school-age students, including SAMHSA and the National Middle School Association, the interactive program helps parents have effective conversations about alcohol with their kids, using a number of accessible resources including discussion booklets, Public Service Announcements (PSAs), and an interactive website. In addition, we will continue to lobby in states for effective and enforced penalties aimed at reducing youth access to alcohol including laws that suspend the driver’s license of individuals 21 or older who knowingly provide alcohol to minors. To view the new public service announcements by SAMHSA and the Ad Council go to: http://www.adcouncil.org/campaigns/underage_drinking/ For more information on The Century Council and it’s programs for parents and communities to fight underage drinking, go to www.centurycouncil.org