August 9th, 2006
Update #1: View NBC segment
“confirming that millions of teenagers have ordered alcohol online, or have a friend who has ordered online. The survey provides hard evidence about teenagers’ online activity, their purchases of alcohol, their awareness of the ability to purchase alcohol online, and their levels of parental oversight”
Not only will the survey press the case that teenagers like to (and can) purchase alcohol online, but it will also focus on the general compliance enforcement policies of the state liquor control authorities.
Highlights from the study and the findings will be presented during NBC Nightly News this evening at 7pm EST. This is obviously a highly coordinated PR effort on the part of the WSWA and perhaps the beginning of a new campaign from an organization that has fought bitterly against the progress direct shipping has made since Granholm. No one wants to see alcohol in the hands of minors; however we know that states are taking the right steps to ensure that even orchestrated stings do not result in underage reception of alcohol. A specific example is Michigan, who will officially announce in a few weeks that ChoicePoint and IDology are approved as authorized vendors for online age verification. Combine this technology with the carrier’s responsibility at time of delivery and you’ve got enforcement at both ends of a transaction.
I’m sure we will see a vigorous response from the wine industry to this latest volley of “research” from the WSWA. Full text of the WSWA notice is below:
I wanted to give you a heads up on some very important research that we are releasing tomorrow. The information is embargoed until tomorrow and your office will receive a courtesy copy of the research as we release it to the public.
WSWA is releasing a research survey conducted by TRU (Teenage Research Unlimited) confirming that millions of teenagers have ordered alcohol online, or have a friend who has ordered online. The survey provides hard evidence about teenagers’ online activity, their purchases of alcohol, their awareness of the ability to purchase alcohol online, and their levels of parental oversight.
In addition we are releasing a summary of a telephone audit we conducted of the liquor control authorities in all 50 states and the District of Columbia asking the following questions: 1) who in your state has jurisdiction to conduct compliance checks of online purchases of alcohol, 2) has your agency conducted any compliance check or enforcement of online alcohol sales, and 3) how much money did the agency spend. Not surprisingly, only five states report having conducted any compliance checks of online alcohol purchases and in each of the five states alcohol was easily ordered over the Internet by minors.
All of this will be highlighted on NBC Nightly News tonight at 7pm EST.
Unfortunately I cannot share the research with you until tomorrow since the information is embargoed. Please call me with any questions.
Juanita D. Duggan
President and CEO
Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America