Thursday, March 11, 2010


Marin Institute launched its second annual, nationwide anti-alcohol-advertising contest, FREE the BOWL. This year’s theme is “Free the Bowl from Big Al” (a.k.a. Big Alcohol). The contest for youth and young adults ages 10 to 25 seeks original ads 30 to 60 seconds long to counter excessive alcohol advertising. The alcohol industry watchdog launched the contest at and is using YouTube to showcase entries.

1st Place Winners

“Day after day, year after year, youth and young adults are bombarded and harmed by Big Alcohol,” stated Michael Scippa, Marin Institute advocacy director. “This year’s contest asks for help identifying “Big Al’s” many faces, especially those that encourage underage drinking. We’re challenging young filmmakers to show us what Big Al looks like, where they see Big Al, and how Big Al harms them, their friends, and families.”

Research estimates 85,000 American deaths are caused by alcohol consumption annually while economic costs exceed $220 billion. More than 10 million underage youth drink alcohol annually, while 7 million binge drink. As a result, 5,000 youth under age 21 die, while hundreds of thousands more suffer alcohol-fueled sexual assaults and other injuries.

3rd Place Winner- from New Jersey

Between 2001 and 2007, Big Alcohol (global beer, wine, and spirits companies) placed more than 2 million alcohol ads on TV. This year, foreign-based alcohol corporations will spend half a billion dollars advertising during TV sports programs alone. These programs have the largest youth ad viewing audience of any type of programming with alcohol ads. It’s no secret Big Alcohol experiences its largest overall sales increase during the two-week period surrounding the Super Bowl.

“Big Al’s ads create an environment that promotes unhealthy consumption among youth and adults,” said Scippa. “That’s why Marin Institute is excited to host as a fun channel to protest oppressive alcohol ads.”

Big Alcohol’s Influence Peddling(Federal Figures):

• Anheuser-Busch spent $3.46 million on lobbying expenditures on 13

different lobbying firms in 2008

• MillerCoors and its two parent companies (SABMiller and Molson Coors

Brewing Company) spent a combined $2.5 million on lobbying expenditures in 2008.

• From 2004-2008, Molson Coors, Miller Brewing Company, and Coors

Brewing Company contributed nearly $1.08 million in political donations

Get the facts about the big brewers

Go to Free the Bowl

The Marin Institute is an alcohol industry watchdog.