The US drinks industry has been given a pat on the back for curbing the level of alcohol advertising which is viewed by the country's youth.

In a report issued late last week, monitoring organisation the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth (CAMY) claimed that youth exposure to alcohol advertising in magazines fell by 49% between 2001 and 2005.

The report classified 'youth' as being between 12 and 20 years old.

The analysis, which took in 16,635 advertisements costing nearly US$1.7bn, noted that alcohol industry trade associations adopted a more restrictive standard for advertising placements in the fall of 2003. By 2005, nearly all alcohol adverts in magazines were placed in magazines with youth audience compositions lower than the industry standard.

At the same time, however, in 2005, 44% of adverts and 50% of spending remained in magazines with youth audience compositions that exceeded 15%.

"Alcohol companies have made significant progress in reducing youth exposure to their advertising in national magazines," the organisation said in the report. "Almost all of the 2,897 advertisement placements from 2005 analysed for this report were in publications that met the industry's voluntary standard of no more than 30% youth audiences.

"Overall youth overexposure to alcohol advertising in magazines has fallen substantially in the wake of adoption in late 2003 of the industry's voluntary standard of 30% maximum youth audience composition for vehicles in which it places its advertising…over exposure to distilled spirits advertising, which reached its zenith at 33% in 2001, disappeared in 2005."

Also last week, the US drinks industry came under fire from the Marin Institute, which claimed that the industry is targeting young drinkers in its marketing of alcoholic energy drinks. A report issued by the ant-alcohol organisation claimed that adding alcohol to energy drinks presents a serious danger for young people.