Mayor Thomas M. Menino announced that the City of Boston, in partnership with PatrIn Spirits and with support from the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in Massachusetts (AICUM), is increasing its support of the national “We Don’t Serve Teens” campaign during the August and September back-to-school period. The “We Don’t Serve Teens” initiative is sponsored by a coalition of public and private sector organizations, including the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The City of Boston’s support of this U.S. House of Representatives and Senate recognized program began in January and marks the first time that a municipality has utilized the “We Don’t Serve Teens” campaign for a citywide effort.
Pictured at the City Hall launch announcement are, from left to right, Peter Cressy, CEO, Distilled Spirits Council of the U.S.; John McDonnell, Chief Operating Officer, Patron Spirits; and Robert Epstein, co-owner and President, Horizon Beverage Company.
The initiative is designed to remind people not to serve or provide alcohol to minors. The Patrón Spirits Company, a national supporter of the “We Don’t Serve Teens” program, is funding the cost of materials and advertising for the Boston campaign. AICUM, which represents 60 independent, or private, colleges and universities in the Commonwealth, is also rallying its members to communicate the campaign’s message to adult constituents of its organizations.
“We initially launched this campaign in Boston as a test in January, when students returned from their holiday breaks and based on the success of that effort, we’re pleased to continue and increase the message into this crucial back-to-school timeframe,” Mayor Menino said. “Underage access to alcohol is an important issue here in Boston, and across the country, and the summer-end influx of students is an ideal opportunity to reinforce the message to older friends, family members, and others in the community that it’s against the law and unsafe to furnish alcohol to those who are underage. In order to deliver this message in a widespread and impactful way, we’re thankful for the generous support from organizations like the Patrón Spirits Company and AICUM.”
During the back-to-school period, more than 50 outdoor billboards in targeted Boston neighborhoods will carry the message (in English and in Spanish) that: “The City of Boston reminds you: The legal drinking age is 21. Thanks for not providing alcohol to teens.” Similar print advertisements will also run in local Boston magazines and websites, and thousands of window decals and posters will be distributed to bars, restaurants and liquor retailers across the City. Clear Channel Outdoor is helping to fund the billboards, and Horizon Beverage Company is distributing campaign materials to retailers.
“Recent studies have shown that underage drinking is on the decline across the country, yet Massachusetts continues to rate high among all the states in the number of minors who consume alcohol,” said John McDonnell, the chief operating officer of Patrón Spirits, and a longtime Boston resident. “Preventing underage consumption of alcohol is a critical priority in our industry and we’re pleased to be a part of this initiative in Boston to raise awareness of this important concern, and to stop minors’ access to alcohol.”
“This campaign is unique because it specifically targets those who provide alcohol to underage drinkers. AICUM is pleased to be involved with the campaign,” Richard Doherty, president of AICUM, said. “We applaud the mayor's efforts to focus on this important issue, especially now as students arrive on campus, and we thank The Patrón Spirits Company for their generous support of this important public awareness campaign.”
For more information about preventing access to underage drinking, please visit www.DontServeTeens.gov.