Drug Education News

News and views from the Drug Education Forum

Does marketing communication impact on the volume and patterns of consumption of alcoholic beverages, especially by young people?

The Science Group of the European Alcohol and Health Forum have produced a paper looking at what existing longitudinal studies have to say about the impact of marketing on young people’s drinking.

Perhaps unsurprisingly they conclude that there is a link, however, in terms of the impact they say:

Although the findings confirm an impact of some forms of alcohol marketing on drinking onset, frequency and quantity of alcohol consumed, and on alcohol problems, the size of the impact, even though statistically significant, is, on average, not large.

They point out a number of limitations in the studies they have to work with.

  1. Studying a range of markting strategies.
  2. The majority were done in the USA where the legal drinking age is 21 years.
  3. Lack of analysis of the quality of the advertising.
  4. Studying marketing communication in isolation to other activity – for example price or physical availability.

Despite these limitations the authors argue:

the overall description of the studies found consistent evidence to demonstrate an impact of alcohol advertising on the uptake of drinking among non-drinking young people, and increased consumption among their drinking peers.

Download the paper here.

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Filed under: advertising, alcohol

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