Alcohol Advertising Raises Consumption Rates in Youth

Throughout the history of marketing, advertisements have had both good and bad influences on society. The people that are being influenced the most by these displays are the youth. For example, positive advertisements such as nonprofit organizations like the American Red Cross have brought compelling awareness to society; whereas a negative impacting example of advertising is the advertisement of alcohol. With this being said, alcohol advertisements should have further restrictions because they portray drinking as a positive to the youth, when in reality they are negatively influencing them.

A study using statistics pertaining to the organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries, stated that alcohol advertising is associated with higher consumption rates and claimed that banning them could result in having significant reductions in consumption. (H, Saffer and Dave D) Likewise, another study performed by the same corporation in the United States inspected behaviors effected by alcohol advertisements by comparing federally reported levels of adolescent drinking with inclusive reports of alcohol advertising in local markets over the course of the same years.

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In result of this study, a complete ban on alcohol advertising could reduce monthly measures of youth drinking by 24% and youth binge drinking by approximately 42%. (H, Saffer and Dave D)

Similarly, in the U.S. the Institute of Medicine (H, Saffer and Dave D) has suggested stronger regulations of alcohol marketing. If stronger regulations were applied to alcohol advertising and marketing of alcohol, it could impact the statistics of youth alcohol consumption. According to an online Oxford Journal “Impact of Alcohol Advertising and Media Exposure on Adolescent Alcohol Use: A Systematic Review of Longitudinal Studies” it is said that: Alcohol advertising is one of the many factors that have the potential to encourage youth drinking.

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For young people who have not started to drink, expectancies are influenced by normative assumptions about teenage drinking as well as through the observation of drinking by parents, peers and models in the mass media. Research has linked exposure to portrayals of alcohol use in the mass media with the development of positive drinking expectancies by children and adolescents (Austin and Knaus, 2000; Austin et al., 2000). (Peter Anderson, Avalon de Bruijn)

Young people are exposed to alcohol advertising on television, the radio, the Internet as well as print media. According to the “Alcohol and Alcoholism” article on advertisement restrictions: Amongst 10- to 17-year olds, the perceived likeability of beer advertisements is a function of the positive affective responses evoked by the specific elements featured in the advertisements. Liking of specific elements featured in beer advertisements, such as humor, animation and popular music, significantly contribute to the overall likeability of these advertisements and subsequently to advertising effectiveness indicated by an intent to purchase the product and brand promoted by the advertisements (Chen et al., 2005).” (Anderson, Peter, and Avalon de Bruijn.Alcohol) Advertising also influences the youth through the association of brands with a variety of sports and cultural events. As shown statistically, this has resulted as the most effective marketing because sport activities attract young males, who are most likely to be heavy drinkers. In relation to sports, and other media advertising, “Fourteen-year olds with greater exposure to advertisements in magazines, at sporting and music events and on television are more advertisement-aware than those with less exposure, as are teens who watch more TV, pay attention to beer advertisements and know adults who drink (Collins et al., 2003).” (Anderson, Peter, and Avalon de Bruijn)

As a result of using advertisements, the youth see alcohol being consumed by happy, friendly people having a positive and enjoyable time while drinking. The problem here is that these advertisements fail to inform what negative factors come with consuming alcohol. More research has proven that “Young people with more positive affective responses to alcohol advertising hold more favorable drinking expectancies, perceive greater social approval for drinking, believe drinking is more common among peers and adults, and intend to drink more as adults (Chen and Grube, 2002).” (Anderson, Peter, and Avalon de Bruijn) While the harm and negative impact alcohol can have on people is not mentioned in alcohol advertisements, they are merely blinding young people with fallacies of images of people having a fun and exciting time without any worries or cares. Because of these fallacies, the youth can overlook or misunderstand that alcohol can have very many negative factors when consumed. Studies show that “During adolescence, alcohol can lead to structural changes in the hippocampus (a part of the brain involved in the learning process) (De Bellis et al., 2000) and at high levels can permanently impair brain development (Spear, 2002).

Drinking by adolescents and young adults is associated with automobile crash injury and death, suicide and depression, missed classes and decreased academic performance, loss of memory, blackouts, fighting, property damage, peer criticism and broken friendships, date rape, and unprotected sexual intercourse that places people at risk for sexually transmitted diseases, HIV infection and unplanned pregnancy (Bonomo et al., 2001).” (Anderson, Peter, and Avalon de Bruijn) This article also states more of these negative effects that the youth can be impacted by “Adolescents aged 14-17 years with alcohol use disorders show substantially greater brain activation to alcoholic beverage pictures than control youths, predominantly in brain areas linked to reward, desire and positive affect (Tapert et al., 2003). The degree of brain response to the alcohol pictures is highest in youths who consume more drinks per month and report greater desires to drink.” This is why alcohol advertisements should have more restrictions. These advertisements should not be exposed to adolescent society, as they alter with their minds by influencing them to consume alcohol.

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Alcohol Advertising Raises Consumption Rates in Youth. (2022, Sep 20). Retrieved from

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