Billboard touts whiskey, other warns teens

March 10, 2013 at 3:06 PM

DOUGLASVILLE, Ga., March 10 (UPI) -- The proximity of a liquor ad to a billboard campaigning against teen drinking has raised concern in Douglas County, Ga., officials say.

The billboards -- one of which is from the Live Healthy Douglas Coalition, warns "Don't provide alcohol to minors," and the other an ad for Crown Royal Maple Finished Whisky -- are located on Hospital Drive in Douglasville, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

Douglas County spokesman Wes Tallon said Friday that the billboard company was notified "of this total disregard" for the coalition's efforts to raise awareness about underage drinking.

"It is a blatant, in-your-face challenge to the Live Healthy Douglas campaign," Tallon said in a statement.

Diageo Distributors, which produces Crown Royal and other alcoholic beverages, said the Crown Royal billboard was taken down Saturday.

"We only want adults of legal drinking age consuming our products and would never want to undermine a message that discourages underage drinking," Diageo said in the statement. "We applaud Douglas County for their efforts to curb underage drinking. It's a mission we share."

As for the placement of the billboards, Jodi Senese, chief marketing officer for billboard company CBS Outdoor, said it "was completely erroneous... and that was on our side."

She said Diageo has hundreds of ads in the Atlanta market, "and there is a certain randomized element to the posting."

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