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Adolescents Heavily Exposed to Alcohol References in Popular Music

Posted in Teens

The University of Pittsburg recently conducted a study which reported that the average American adolescent is profoundly exposed to references about alcohol while listening to popular music such as rap, hip hop and R & B.

According to an article referenced in Medical News Today, researchers listened to almost 800 of the most popular songs among adolescents and found that about 25 percent of them referenced popular brand name alcoholic beverages. Much of this music contains references to luxury lifestyles which also degrade women with sexual references, violence, partying and common usage of drugs. Researchers point out that when you consider that many of these references are linked to positive emotions and the "feel good" factor, such regular exposure could mean that advertising is promoting such behaviors among adolescents.

The authors point out that several of these alcohol manufacturers have paired with the music industry to promote advertising, such as Seagrams, which now owns Polygram and Universal. Many artists have benefited and gone on to promote their own lines of alcohol such as Sean "P Diddy" Combs. The authors do note that the lines appear a bit fuzzy when it comes to paid advertising and brand name references when the lyrics contain such brand name references which are neither paid for nor unsolicited.

The authors argue that such ad campaigns featuring rap artists are not consistent with self-regulatory codes in the industry that prevent marketing toward underage drinkers especially considering the music’s popularity among teens.