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Forsyth AJ. 
“A design for strife: alcopops, licit drug - familiar scare story”. 
Int J Drug Policy. 2001 Apr 28;12(1):59-80.
In Scotland during the mid 1990s the news media began reporting growing concern about a new form of alcoholic beverage known as 'alcopops'. Fears raised by the press centred on the claim that these drinks were being marketed towards young children and as such were responsible for the rising levels of adolescent drunkenness. In focusing on underage consumption and alleged marketing aimed at children, the press portrayed alcopops use as illicit, allowing these drinks to be reported as if they were an illegal drug. This 'negative' publicity was in contrast to the 'positive' stories and advertising space given over to other alcoholic beverages elsewhere in their pages. This manuscript quantifies the volume of reporting of these drinks in the Scottish press over the life-span of their news-worthiness. It argues that the press's claims could not be supported by the realities of underage drinking at the time. When this became apparent the scare story ended as rapidly as it had begun. Though concerning a licit substance these findings were found to have many illuminating parallels with illegal drug scare stories.
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