Youth-Produced Ads Demand: Free The Bowl - Stop the Violence
Assemblywoman Fiona Ma Honored as California Legislator of the Year for Banning Alcohol Sales Through Self-Serve Checkout
SAN RAFAEL, Calif., Feb. 2, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Nine youth ages 10 to 19 were awarded prizes tonight for their entertaining counter-TV-sports-beer-ads at Free The Bowl ® World Premiere 2012 in San Rafael, California. This year's theme of the national competition was Free The Bowl - Stop the Violence. Twenty-two video entries from 15 different states all shared the same core message: You don't need to drink alcohol to enjoy the game, despite what the beer ads tell you.
Research has shown that the more alcohol ads kids see, the more likely they are to drink, drink to excess, and drink more often. In 2009, the Surgeon General's Call to Action to Prevent and Reduce Underage Drinking reported that 5,000 people under age 21 die annually from alcohol-related injuries. Hundreds of thousands more suffer alcohol-fueled sexual assaults, serious injuries, diseases, and academic failure.
"We challenged youth this year to expose the relationship of beer advertising and consumption to violence before, during and after sporting events," stated Michael Scippa, Director of Public Affairs at Alcohol Justice. "The entries reflected their understanding of the power of beer ads to push underage youth to drink."
Winners of Alcohol Justice's Free The Bowl® 2012 video contest for youth are:
First Prize - Oregon Partnership YouthLink, Portland, OR, for "Pass It On"
Second Prize - Jasper Lown, 15, Wheaton, IL for "Enough"
Third Prize - James Tre Jackson, 19, Allendale, MI for "Stop the Domestic Violence"
"We decided to make the video for the Free the Bowl Contest because we realize that there are too many beer ads during the game and we want to put a stop to it," stated Vijay Edupaganti and Samantha Seibt from Portland-based Oregon Partnership YouthLink, whose video "Pass It On" won the top prize of $1,000. "We want to let other kids know that it is OK you don't drink beer, or any alcohol while watching the NFL Championship. It is OK not to drink and you can still have a great time."
There have been a number of highly publicized incidents of alcohol-related violence at professional sporting venues over the past year, such as the vicious beating of San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow at Los Angeles' Dodger Stadium. Research has shown that sports related alcohol advertising, sponsorship, branding, promotions, and sales practices all fuel over-consumption that leads directly to tens of thousands of annual incidents of alcohol-related violence and harm.
"It was important for me to enter to make people aware that there are kids, and even some spouses, who have to deal with domestic violence because of a simple sports game," stated James Tre Jackson of Allendale, MI, whose video "Stop the Domestic Violence" took third place. " I made this with the intent that other people will experience the same thing. Also, as a result that more people will realize this problem and domestic violence will decrease all together."
Big Alcohol (global beer, wine, and spirits corporations) will place 2 million alcohol ads on TV this year. Foreign-based alcohol corporations will spend half a billion dollars advertising during TV sports programs alone. As usual, Anheuser-Busch InBev will dominate the NFL Championship with approximately four solid minutes of airtime. It has been estimated that 30 million underage football fans will be watching.
"I believe in the importance of promoting positive change through visual media," said Jasper Lown from Wheaton, IL. My generation tends to be influenced much more easily by way of television and Internet advertising. Counteracting the efforts of detrimental advertising (such as beer ads during programs with large audiences of children like the NFL Championship) is only achievable by using the same means as the opponents ." Jasper's video "Enough" won second prize.
"Free the Bowl allows kids to connect the dots between beer ads, over-consumption and violence," added Scippa. "They know that breaking the toxic social norm that binds alcohol to sports must begin with creating a digital divide between TV sports programs and alcohol ads."
Alcohol Justice also honored Assemblywoman Fiona Ma with their California Legislator of the Year Award for passing her 2011 bill AB 183, to prohibit self-serve alcohol sales in the state. "I'm honored to receive Alcohol Justice's Legislator of the Year Award and I am thankful to have had such strong allies for AB 183," stated Ma. "I could not have had such a monumental bill signed into law without the support and leadership from this organization. I commend Alcohol Justice for continuing their work to protect the public and our youth."
California State Senator Mark Leno also attended as did San Rafael City Councilman Marc Levine who stated, "Alcohol Justice is an indispensable voice for healthy communities."
Current and past Free The Bowl® videos can be found at FreeTheBowl.com
Background information on the effects of alcohol advertising on youth and about the dangers of self-serve alcohol sales can be found at AlcoholJustice.org .
Contact: Michael Scippa 415-548-0492
Jorge Castillo 213-840-3336
SOURCE Alcohol Justice