ARLINGTON, VA—The Century Council is proud to announce the four universities chosen to implement and further explore potential effectiveness of student-generated campaigns to prevent binge drinking on our nation's college campuses. The Century Council, a national not-for-profit organization funded by distillers and dedicated to fighting drunk driving and underage drinking, will support the implementation of several of the ideas presented at the American Advertising Federation’s 2009 National Student Advertising Competition by the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, The University of Alabama-Tuscaloosa, The George Washington University, and Ohio University.
During the fall of 2009, 150 teams, representing colleges and universities across the nation, accepted the challenge to work on the case study developed by The Century Council, with the assistance of the Ad Council and the American Council on Education. Participating teams were asked to create an integrated communications campaign to decrease dangerous overconsumption of alcohol on campus.
As a follow-up to the competition, The Century Council’s goal for supporting these four schools is to test the effectiveness of these highly creative executions in bringing down rates of, and ultimately, stop dangerous overconsumption of alcohol on campus. The selected universities will be using grant funds provided by The Century Council to: establish benchmarks measuring current levels of dangerous overconsumption of beverage alcohol among students in their respective campus; implement an agreed upon group of tactics; conduct follow-up research and report their findings.
“These partnerships are another positive step forward in combating a serious issue. We believe implementation at the selected schools will provide valuable firsthand knowledge of what measures can be taken to effectively put an end to binge drinking,” said Susan Molinari, Chairman of The Century Council. “Gaining additional insights directly from students and universities will assist not only The Century Council but will enhance efforts of leading organizations, government agencies, and concerned college administrators.”
While the Century Council is not in a position to specifically agree or disagree with all of the statements or executions that may be tested, The Century Council stands firm on its support of the 21 year old drinking law and remains committed to providing students, parents, administrators and the entire campus community with the educational resources they need to fight alcohol abuse on campus.
For over a decade, The Century Council has been a leader in assisting colleges and universities with innovative strategies to combat overconsumption on campus. In addition to supporting these four colleges, The Century Council has a number of ongoing efforts to address binge drinking from many angles. An ongoing study at George Mason University, Understanding Teen Drinking Cultures in America, is an innovative, independent research project designed to better understand the psychological and sociological factors that affect adolescents as they make decisions regarding whether to engage in alcohol-related behaviors. More information can be found here: http://teenalcoholcultures.gmu.edu/.
Additionally, The Century Council provided a research grant to the Emergency Medicine Foundation (EMF) to learn more about the role of emergency services with regard to college binge drinking. More information will be released about this project in late April. Lastly, The Century Council has partnered with the Center for Leadership in Public Service at Fisher College to further explore the issue of college binge drinking from the perspective of campus law enforcement.
Quotes from grant recipients:
Judy Bonner, Provost – The University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
“Issues related to under aged drinking and alcohol abuse are of paramount concern to university administrators across the nation. We are all searching for ways to help students understand the risks they are taking. We are extremely pleased that the 2009 Ad Team's AAF-NSAC campaign, "It Takes Less Than You Think", captured the attention of The Century Council. We believe that this campaign will resonate with college students and can increase knowledge and change attitudes regarding alcohol."
Gregory J. Shepherd, Dean – Scripps College of Communication at Ohio University
“I'm thrilled that The Century Council has decided to fund the implementation of the campaign targeting illegal underage drinking and overconsumption of alcohol developed by students in Scripps. Through the use of traditional and new media, Ohio University students will be informed about a difficult but important subject. This campaign, led by Professor Craig Davis, illustrates communication at its most powerful: as a tool to affect positive change in the health and safety of young people on our campus."
Dr. Albert R. Tims, Director – School of Journalism and Mass Communication at University of Minnesota – Twin Cities
"We are excited about the opportunity to use this grant funding in order to test and implement many of the ideas put forth in our NSAC team's Plans Book, and to create a uniquely effective advertising campaign targeted toward reducing dangerous alcohol related behavior among our student population."
About the Century Council
The Century Council is a not-for-profit organization funded by distillers including Bacardi U.S.A., Inc.; Beam Global Spirits & Wines, Inc., Brown-Forman; Constellation Brands, Inc.; DIAGEO; Hood River Distillers, Inc.; Pernod Ricard USA, and Sidney Frank Importing Co., Inc. Through legislation, education, and public awareness campaigns, The Century Council promotes responsible decision-making regarding beverage alcohol, focusing on drunk driving and underage drinking. For more information on The Century Council please visit: www.centurycouncil.org.
Jessica Lepak, The Century Council
Lepakj@CenturyCouncil.org, or (202) 637-0077