Are flashy alcoholic drinks targeting teens? - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Are flashy alcoholic drinks targeting teens?

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April 7, 2007

Albany - - It appears to be the new trend in alcoholic drinks. Fun, flashy, colors and tastes. Just the perfect combination, some say, to lure teens to experiment.

Sweet flavors. Bright colors. A teenagers delight?

"It's probably to try to get more people to buy the drinks, us teenagers. I don't think they should make it," says 16 year old Gerrick Banks.

"Because teenagers is the audience they're trying to get it to," 17 year old Ronnie Starling agrees.

Teens we spoke with say it is not uncommon to find their underage counterparts drinking. In fact, it's often encouraged.

"If you don't drink, or anything then you're not cool, you cant hang with them," says 17 year old Christian Laseter.

Many adults are becoming concerned about several beverages on the market, they feel target young people - like a new drink made by Anheuser Busch called Spykes.

With just a click of the mouse, you'll find a web site dedicated to the new drink. It has loud music and flashy colors showcasing attractive flavors like mango, lime, melon, and hot chocolate.

They look cool and they're small, shaped like a nail polish bottle. Managers at Lighthouse Liquors in Albany say teens already try to sneak their way into the store.

"Oh man, it happens. Every weekend our security guards are turning someone around," says Richie Williams.

They're stepping up security to spread the message, if you're under 21, you're not welcomed there.

"On the weekends, we have a strict policy where we have a security guard at the door that cards just about everyone that comes into the door and if they're under 21 they're not allowed in the store at all," Williams says.

No matter how attractive that drink may look or taste. 

The new Busch drink ranges in price from 75 cents to a dollar, but it contains 12 % alcohol. In published reports, Bush says the drink is not aimed at teens, but at adults in their 20's.

Proms are coming up at high schools nationwide and many are starting "prom promise" campaigns where students vow not to drink.

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