Alcohol firms target young people with their drink campaigns on social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, claims concerned authority.
The charity Alcohol Concern claimed that drinks companies' web pages 'appeal to minors' with games, competitions and videos of drink-fuelled parties, the Daily Mail reports.
AdvertisementAccording to the report 'New Media, New Problem?', teenagers themselves use company logos to set up their own unofficial sites about drinking, praising the products and uploading pictures, which present themselves as 'being able to consumer large quantities of alcohol'.
The report revealed that the most popular drinks brands among under 18s, Fosters, WKD, Carling, Budweiser, Carlsberg, Bacardi and Smirnoff, have a dedicated website and most have a presence on Facebook and Twitter.
The report said that on the company's official websites 'safeguards' designed to ensure they can only be accessed by adults, were easily bypassed by putting in fake dates of birth.
"Boundaries between what constitutes online alcohol advertising and what constitutes social interaction are becoming increasingly hazy," the report said.
"There's a real danger of children and young people being exposed to alcohol marketing on such sites, particularly given that age verification mechanisms are largely ineffective," it added.
The charity recommended to ban alcohol advertising on social networking sites and to clamp down on unofficial pages set up by the public, the paper said.