Legal provisions in many States prohibit ads of any type in which advertisers intend to target children, minors, or those under the legal drinking age, or encourage them, induce them, or make a special appeal to them to buy or consume alcoholic beverages. Targeting-of-minors provisions can also prohibit advertising that uses images of children or models who are under the legal drinking age. We have focused on the specific wording of each statute because, although a State agency can pursue legal action against such ads through false or misleading provisions, enforcement is much easier when there is a specific provision against targeting minors. On the other hand, a provision that is poorly drafted will probably undermine a general false or misleading statute; a court is likely to conclude that the State legislature intended the targeting-of-minors provisions to override (or serve as an interpretation of) a general false-and-misleading provision. For this reason, if a State has a targeting-of-minors provision, it is important that the scope of the provision not be unduly restricted.
At present, 25 States have provisions of the type analyzed for this report. The variables in the chart below are defined as follows:
Advertising That Targets Minors