17 Million Kids Will Be Watching…

Posted on: 02/3/08 9:17 AM | by Jonathan McKee

17 Million.. that’s a lot of kids!

Yes, 17 million kids are watching the Superbowl game this year… AND the commercials. I don’t know about you, but this three hour slot of TV is the one time I actually enjoy the commercials. But that doesn’t stop me from using my TiVo to start the game about 45 minutes late so I have the freedom to skip certain ads (Remember the two girls wrestling in the fountain a couple years ago? That ad had a bunch of parents across the country frantically searching for the remote control!).

Apparantly I’m not the only one concerned. Marin Institute, an “alcohol watchdog group” out of San Rafeal, California, is very concerned, specifically about all the beer commercials. Media Life magazine reports in this article:

Seventeen million kids will be watching Sunday’s game, according to Marin, and alcohol advertising has been tied to increased underage drinking. Considering Budweiser annually produces the funniest, most well-received ads, Marin believes the ads put kids at risk.

“The NFL identifies the Super Bowl as a family-friendly televised sporting event, so their opinion of what family-friendly is is clearly not the same as ours,” says Michael J. Scippa, Marin Institute’s advocacy director. “Nearly 17 million youth watch that every year, and they’re being exposed to very clever, very funny, very powerful brand messaging – and clearly there are strong links between exposure and usage, especially in underage drinkers.”

There are studies to back up that point. A study in the January 2006 edition of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine found that youth who saw more alcohol advertisements on average drank more.

Studies are revealing that people are drinking at increasingly younger ages, according to this UK article, fueling violence and anti-social behavior.

So I guess it comes down to what’s more important… the health and safety of our kids… or a whole lot of freaking money!