Senate panel looking at energy drink marketing


U.S. CongressThere is freedom of speech, and then there is freedom of advertising speech, which simply is not as free as the kind we enjoy as private citizens. The Senate Commerce Committee is going there soon to look at how energy drinks are marketed to younger Americans.

The hearing title says it all: “Energy Drinks: Exploring Concerns About Marketing to Youth.” It’s on the pre-Senate recess schedule for Wednesday 7/31/13 at 2:30PM.

Three members of the Senate have already commissioned a report on the matter, and the results of the study will be unveiled at the hearing. The trio of senators includes Dick Durbin (D-IL), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and newly-minted but veteran federal legislator Ed Markey (D-MA).

According to a release on the hearing, Committee chair Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) “…is interested in learning more about the concerns expressed by pediatricians and other public health experts about the health risks energy drinks could pose to children and teenagers. Among the leading voices concerned about the marketing of energy drinks to kids is the American Medical Association (AMA). Last month, the organization voted to support a ban on the marketing of energy drinks to children and teens under the age of 18.”

Rockefeller queried four leading energy drink manufacturers about their marketing strategies, particularly in reference to children and teens. The hearing is intended to bore in on that topic.