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SAN FERNANDO : Activists Seek Ban on Beer Promotions

October 14, 1992|RICHARD LEE COLVIN

Activists want the city of San Fernando to let the air out of the huge inflatable beer bottles that brewers display at community events they sponsor.

"The tying in of alcoholic beverages to our cultural events have made them synonymous," said Xavier Flores, executive director of Pueblo y Salud, a San Fernando-based alcohol-education and public-policy agency. "You envision El Cinco de Mayo or El Diez y Seis de Septiembre and you envision a nice, cold can of beer."

The two events celebrate Mexico's independence from France and Spain, respectively. Critics of alcohol promotions at those events say the industry is seeking to offset a decline in alcohol consumption in the general population by targeting Latinos and other minority groups.

Industry representatives defend their right to promote their products and point to educational and charitable efforts aimed at benefiting minority groups.

Flores and representatives of Friday Night Live, a private, nonprofit agency that tries to provide youths with alternatives to drinking, on Tuesday asked the city's recreation and parks commission to recommend a ban on the promotion of alcoholic beverages during cultural or family-oriented events in the city.

Such an ordinance would have to be approved by the City Council. In recent years the council has banned alcohol consumption in city parks, but beer companies still sponsor public events and use devices such as inflatable beer bottles to advertise their involvement.

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