We Don’t Serve Teens Campaign urges parents to speak up and discourage underage drinking

WASHINGTON, DC—The Federal Trade Commission and The Century Council, a national not-for-profit organization funded by the nation’s leading distillers, joined forces today to launch a public awareness campaign to prevent underage drinking. The new initiative called “We Don’t Serve Teens,” is designed to inform adults that providing underage drinkers with alcohol is unsafe, illegal, and irresponsible.

“We are unveiling our ‘We Don’t Serve Teens’ campaign today with the Federal Trade Commission to help prevent underage purchases and consumption of alcohol throughout the year. The Century Council has found that sixty-five percent of teens who drink obtain the alcohol they drink from family and friends and that nearly one in five (17%) adults believe it is acceptable for parents to provide alcohol to their teenagers in their own home. It is our hope this campaign will encourage parents to start and continue a dialogue with their teen about the dangers of underage drinking. Turning a blind eye is as irresponsible as putting a drink in their hands,” said Susan Molinari, Chairman of The Century Council.

To determine parents’ perspective on the issue of underage drinking, in particular the legal consequences, The Century Council commissioned a survey of 1,000 adults.  The results show that overwhelmingly, adults and parents, alike, do not believe it is acceptable for parents or other adults to provide beverage alcohol to underage youth.  Ninety-six percent of adults said it is unacceptable for another parent or other adult to provide alcohol to their teenager without their permission.  Further, all survey respondents said if they learned another parent or adult provided alcohol to their teenager without their permission, they would consider taking recourse against the other parent, or their child.

The top actions adults would take include:
• speaking with my child about the dangers and consequences of underage drinking (93%),
• call that adult and express my objections/feelings/opinions (86%),
• restrict my child’s time at that family’s house (80%),
• limit my child’s relationship with that family (76%),
• notify other parents (74%), and
• punish my own child (69%).

Other actions adults report they would take if such an incident occurred include calling the police (44%), reporting the incident to the school (40%), and taking legal action, such as file charges, sue them, etc. (34%).

Working with the Federal Trade Commission and other national organizations including The National Alcohol Beverage Control Association (NABCA), The American Beverage Licensees (ABL), and The Charmer Sunbelt Group, The Century Council will distribute point of purchase materials to retailers and community organizations across the nation as a reminder to parents and other adults that providing alcohol to teens can mean serious consequences and to encourage them to speak up about underage drinking. Elements of the campaign include a television public service announcements, print ad, lapel pins, cold case stickers, register signs, and ceiling danglers.  For more information on the campaign or to order materials visit www.dontserveteens.gov or www.centurycouncil.org.

Since The Council’s inceptions in 1991, approximately 15 million pieces of point of sale items have been distributed free of charge to retailers and wholesalers nationwide.  The Century Council’s point of sale materials have been distributed in all 50 states.

Launched in 1991, The Century Council is funded by America’s leading distillers.  The Council’s mission is to promote responsible decision-making regarding beverage alcohol and discourage all forms of irresponsible consumption through education, communications, research, law enforcement and other programs.  For more information on the Council, log onto www.centurycouncil.org.