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Youth Video Winners Announced in Free The Bowl(TM) Contest

Submitted by on February 9, 2010 – 5:37 PMNo Comment
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Seven young people ages 10 to 25 were awarded prizes evening for their compelling counter-alcohol ads at the Free The Bowl™ World Premiere 2010 in San Rafael, California.The competition drew entries from 19 different states yet all shared the same core message: seductive alcohol ads shown during the Super Bowl are inappropriate for the millions of vulnerable young viewers who watch the event.

In the second year of this contest, Marin Institute encourages youth to identify “Big Al” (i.e. “Big Alcohol”) in their lives and in Anheuser-Busch InBev’s eight Super Bowl XLIII beer commercials. It has been estimated that 30 million underage football fans watch the event.

“In this year’s contest we asked young people to identify ‘Big Al’s’ many faces, especially those that encourage underage drinking,” said Marin Institute Advocacy Director Michael Scippa.  We challenged young filmmakers to show us what Big Al looks like, where they see Big Al, and how Big Alcohol harms them, their friends, and families.”

Research estimates 85,000 American deaths are caused by alcohol consumption annually while economic costs exceed $220 billion. More than 10 million underage youth drink alcohol every year and 7 million binge drink. As a result, 5,000 youth under age 21 die, while hundreds of thousands more suffer alcohol-fueled sexual assaults, serious injuries, diseases and academic failure.  Meanwhile, Big Alcohol (global beer, wine, and spirits corporations) will place 2 million alcohol ads on TV this year. Foreign-based alcohol corporations will spend half a billion dollars advertising during TV sports programs alone.

Winners of the country’s second Free the Bowl™ video contest are:

10 – 20 Age Group
-First Prize – Ren Reed, 16, Pleasant Hill, CA for “No Second Chances”
-Second Prize – Tanner Mitchell, 17, Grand Prairie, TX for “Big Al’s Big Play”
-Third Prize – Gabrielle Lewis, 18, Post Falls, ID, for “The Near Future”  (tied with)
-Third Prize – Michael Huet, 17, Hollywood, FL, for “Alcohol Companies Want Your Kids”

21 – 25 Age Group
-First Prize – Justin McBride, 24, Phoenix AZ, for “It’s Time”
-Second Prize – Eric Henriksen, 22, Oswego, IL for “Break the Hold”
-Third Prize – Matt Fiedler, 21, Branchburg, NJ for “A Big Disappointment”

The videos can be found at FreeTheBowl.com and background information on the effects of alcohol advertising on youth at MarinInstitute.org.