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Four Loko Submits to Advertising Restrictions


CONTACT:  Michael Scippa 415-548-0492
Jorge Castillo 213-840-3336 

Four Loko Submits to Advertising Restrictions
Alcohol Justice Applauds Attorneys General Agreement With Phusion,
Renews Call for Alcopop-Free Zones

SAN FRANCISCO, CA (March 26, 2014) – Alcohol Justice expressed appreciation today for a new agreement with Phusion Projects, LLC to restrict the company’s youth-targeting marketing practices for its dangerous, supersized alcopop brand, Four Loko. The agreement was finalized between Phusion and 19 State Attorneys General and the San Francisco City Attorney.

“The agreement is a strong statement in the right direction to control the alcopop advertising and marketing practices of one company that leads the race to the bottom in self-regulation,” stated Bruce Lee Livingston, Executive Director/CEO of Alcohol Justice. “Unfortunately this order cannot reduce the supersized alcohol content or the availability of Four Loko or other cheap alcopops at any 7-Eleven or other convenience store.” Livingston added, “We commend the 19 state AGs and San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera and Deputy City Attorney Francesca Gessner for this negotiated settlement, which makes new progress in controlling the digital advertising hijinks of the arrogant corporate leaders at Phusion.”

The agreement, announced yesterday, mandates changes to Phusion Project’s flagrant, youth-directed marketing practices that frequently portrayed underage consumer misuse of Four Loko on social media sites.  It assures “voluntary compliance” and “voluntary discontinuance” of such activity.

“The agreement still allows Phusion corporate executives to avoid any guilt for producing or marketing these cheap, harm-producing binges in a can, said Livingston. “We call for an end to the flavored malt beverage/alcopop product category, whether by federal regulation, state legislation, or communities demanding Alcopop-Free Zones – Retailers should voluntarily just stop selling Four Loko and other youth-attractive alcopops.”

For many years Alcohol Justice has been a leader in the national effort to properly regulate flavored malt beverages (FMBs), known to the public as alcopops. Its groundbreaking 2007 report, Alcohol, Energy Drinks, and Youth: A Dangerous Mix, furthered the campaign that ultimately led to the Food and Drug Administration action on alcoholic energy drinks in November 2010.

In the U.S., 10.7 million underage youth drink, and 7.2 million binge drink. Alcohol-related problems from underage drinking cost the country $60 billion annually.

Alcohol Justice also sounded the first alarm about supersized alcopops that remain in the wake of producers reformulating their alcopop products without caffeine. In addition to Four Loko, other products that fit the same youth-oriented profile include Joose by United Brands and Blast by Pabst Brewing Company. Blast has been attacked for an ethnic and youth-oriented marketing campaign featuring Snoop Dogg.

Alcohol Justice has proposed model legislation to ban the monster 23.5 oz, single serving cans, with up to 12% alcohol content, and launched a model program called Alcopop-Free Zone™.

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