Watchdog attacks claims made in alcohol ads


The Marin Institute thinks that makers and sellers of beverages containing alcohol are trying to hop on the health and wellness trend by making claims about their products that are a stretch, if not outright false. It believes the claims may be “legally tenuous, morally unsound, and potentially dangerous.”

Marin says that winemakers have a long history of inflating the healthful benefits of their products. Now, MI says, beer and spirits manufacturers are jumping on the health food trend with their own dubious claims.

MI says that the new line of 64-calory 12-ounce beers claim they are aids to weight loss. And a number of vodka brands claim to have healthful additives including casein, antioxidants and natural flavor.

In a statement, MI said, “Using terms like ‘vitamin B enhanced,’ ‘antioxidant nutrients,’ and ‘all-natural,’ combined with images of fruit or young athletes running or cycling, these products are promoted as logical compliments to a healthy, fitness-oriented lifestyle, without a hint of irony.”

Research and Policy Director Michele Simon added, “Alcohol is not a health and wellness product. Even moderate consumption is responsible for a wide range of health problems, including heart disease and various cancers, not to mention an epidemic of underage drinking. Alcohol is not a health tonic; it can cause life-long suffering and destroy families. Where are those messages?”

RBR-TVBR observation: The FTC does not take kindly to any advertising claims that are not supported by genuine scientific fact, and it has not been shy about bringing down very big names with it believes that a line has been crossed. We take the Marin Institute charges seriously, but we would be a lot more impressed if the FTC did something about these claims.