Regulations Lag as Alcohol Firms Tap New Media to Reach Young Drinkers

HealthDay News reported May 19 that American University professor Kathryn Montgomery — author of the report, Alcohol Marketing in the Digital Age (PDF) — said that alcohol is being sold through “a multiplicity of platforms throughout the day and night that includes online, offline, mobile, digital, music, video — a whole range of different ways that consumers interact with new digital marketing.”

Adolescents are being bombarded with alcohol marketing online as firms exploit new-media tools and lax regulation to put their brand images and information in front of young drinkers, according to a new report.

Researchers said that the Federal Trade Commission needs to investigate an advertising space where loose regulations. Alcohol companies also are reaching out to consumers via social-networking platforms like Facebook, both directly and indirectly through consumers who are encouraged to tout their brands to others in the network.

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