Eight San Pablo stores were recently awarded certificates for either removing or not having low-displayed alcohol advertisements — part of a youth-led campaign to reduce rates of underage drinking.
Sylvester Greenwood Academy students who are part of the youth leadership group Discovering the Reality of Our Community (DROC) launched a campaign in March encouraging San Pablo stores near the town center, library and Helms Middle School to remove alcohol advertisements placed at three feet or below, aiming to reduce instances where youth encounter them. Studies have indicated that kids are likely to consume more alcohol when exposed to ads promoting alcohol brands.
Eight of 10 stores they visited were praised for either not having such ads or for removing them after the first visit. Those stores — Adobe Liquors, Dollar Tree, HP, Las Montanas, R C Liquors, Shell, Smart & Final, and Walgreens — were awarded certificates to display at their registers, “commemorating their commitment to eliminate youth-targeted alcohol advertising,” according to DROC, a program by Bay Area Community Resources.
In a 2016 survey, 64-percent of San Pablo stores that sell liquor had low-placed ads promoting alcohol.
“Alcohol advertisements at this height accidentally promotes drinking to younger children, who may begin the habit at an earlier age they otherwise wouldn’t,” according to the youth-authored DROC report. “Often times, liquor ads are placed in stores by distributor companies, who bring product and promotional material to local stores. However, many youth in our community frequent these stores to buy snacks, or to shop with their families. When children already see as many as four alcohol ads each day, it becomes crucial to eliminate alcohol promotions to underage community members.”
Sylvester Greenwood Academy students who participated in this project include Jesus Buitimea, Lesly Campos, Cynthia Jones, Alisa Dempsey, Jose Gallardo, Lessly Godoy, Casey Leonard, Elisa Martinez, Jaime Navarette, Yader Ramirez, Jose Rodriguez, Joanna Santillan, and John’Iyah West.
View the results of the 2016 Healthy Stores for Healthy Communities survey here.