When fans tune into tomorrow's Super Bowl match up between the Chicago Bears and Indianapolis Colts they will see five minutes of advertising from Anheuser-Busch spread throughout the game. One anti-alcohol group thinks the right amount should be zero.
The Marin Institute, which promotes a neo-prohibitionist agenda, says that Anheuser-Busch is using the game to aggressively target under-age viewers. It is expected that 90 million people will watch the game. The brewer is the largest single sponsor of the championship contest, which is annually one of the best watched television events. The Marin Institute points out that beer industry standards say that ads should only be placed in television programs with audiences that are at least 70 percent adults. The Marin Institute uses a Weekly Reader survey of students after last year's game to make the claim that more than a third of the game's viewers were under 18 years old.
The Marin Institute would like to remove alcohol advertising from nearly all venues. It claims that brewers, wineries and spirits companies use ads to encourage young people to drink. The group claims that underage drinkers spent nearly $50 billion in 2001 on alcohol.