Are alcohol companies taking strong action to prevent underage drinking?
While alcohol companies may present a public appearance of being concerned about alcohol and young people, their actions tell a different story.
Alcohol companies profit from underage drinking. If alcohol companies really didn’t want young people to drink they wouldn’t:
- design products that appeal to young people;
- expose young people to masses of alcohol advertising and promotion (see our alcohol advertising factsheet); and
- oppose the approaches that work best to prevent harm from alcohol.
Alcohol companies are legally obligated to maximise returns for their shareholders, who are unlikely to be supportive of reducing present or future sales. That’s why alcohol companies often support weak approaches that are unlikely to impact alcohol sales and consumption, such as weak education programs, ineffective product warning labels, and voluntary advertising codes which have failed to ensure alcohol promotion is socially responsible or to prevent young people’s exposure.