WASHINGTON, D.C. – The latest CDC-funded report by the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth (CAMY) says African-American youth saw and heard more alcohol advertising than their peers, but government data show, and CAMY admits, that African-American youth continue to drink less than their white and Hispanic peers.

“It’s time the CDC takes a closer look at CAMY and how it is spending $4 million in tax- payer funds,” Distilled Spirits Council Senior Vice President Frank Coleman stated.

“CAMY and David Jernigan continue to assert — directly and through innuendo – that advertising causes consumption.  Yet, even he acknowledges in his latest ‘report’ that African-American youth drink less despite seeing more ads,” Coleman said.

“Three government data sources, including CDC’s own, clearly disprove Jernigan’s repeated claims,” he pointed out.  “In fact, this is CAMY’s  third ‘report’ stating that African-American youth see more alcohol ads and each time the government data has shown that they drink less than other ethnic groups.”

He added, “CDC’s funding would be better spent on evidence-based programs to reduce underage drinking versus advocacy-driven studies suggesting policy avenues that will have no impact on reducing underage drinking.”

Coleman also noted that the distilled spirits industry strongly opposes illegal, underage drinking, and spends millions to support programs to fight this complex societal problem.

“Working together, significant progress has been made but more needs to be done,” said Coleman pointing out that just this week the 2011 National Survey on Drug Use and Health issued by U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration continues to show significant reductions in binge and heavy drinking among underage youth.  “Parents, industry and the entire community working together can continue to make a difference.  Jernigan’s wasteful and repetitive ‘studies’ have zero impact,” Coleman said.

This latest CAMY report follows on yet another taxpayer-funded CAMY study which inexplicably concluded that anyone in an advertisement seen drinking on a beach or near a body of water was engaging in “risky” activity.

“These kind of unsubstantiated assertions are why appropriators on Capitol Hill should question the CDC’s grant-making process and the public should question the credibility of CAMY,” Coleman concluded.


Government Data Sources on Alcohol Consumption and Ethnic Groups

Monitoring the Future

Past Month Alcohol Use Among

12th Grade Students – 2011

Race                          Percent

African American     30.1%

Hispanic                    39.7%

White                         43.8%

National Survey on Drug Use and Health

Past Month Alcohol Use Among

12-20 Year Olds – 2011

Race                          Percent

African American    18.1%

Hispanic                   22.5%

White                        28.2%

CDC Youth Risk Behavior Survey

Past Month Alcohol Use Among

High School Students – 2011

Race                        Percent

African American   30.5%

Hispanic                  42.3%

White                       40.3%