Can't find something? Search Here.

Trends in Alcohol Advertising in Magazines

Posted in Underage Drinking

There are several factors that work together to influence youth to participate in drinking behaviors, often including a combination of biological and environmental factors. While it is not clear how those factors work together, research has shown that when youth view print images that glorify drinking, some teenagers are more likely to participate in drinking.

A recent report issued an update about the effectiveness in regulations intended to decrease the exposure to alcohol in magazines. The study by the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth at the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health showed that there was a significant decrease in youth exposure to alcohol advertising in magazines between 2001 and 2008.

The report showed that youth exposure to alcohol advertising in magazines had declined by 48 percent during the seven-year period. 325 separate alcohol brands advertised in magazines in 2008, but half of the advertising came from just 16 brands. The most prevalent were Patron Silver Tequila, Absolut Vodka, Kahlua Liqueurs, Ketel One Vodka and Jim Beam Bourbon Whiskey.

The study shows that the alcohol companies are largely meeting the industry’s voluntary requirements of not placing ads in magazines with 30 percent or more youth readership. Despite the progress shown in the amount of advertising being placed in magazines, however, it has not affected the percentage of youth exposure coming from advertising placed in youth-oriented publications.

The report indicates that 78 percent of youth exposure to advertising for alcohol occurred in publications that youth ages 12 to 20 were more likely to read than adults aged 21 and over. A previous report made by the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth examining 2001 to 2005 data showed that 80 percent of youth exposure came from ads placed in youth-oriented publications.

The director of the study explained that it was not logical to advertise in magazines read by those who cannot purchase alcohol, but that a handful of brands continued to do it, despite regulations within the industry to reduce youth exposure.
Key findings of the report show that distilled spirits companies reduced their ads in magazines by 34 percent, while brewers increased magazine advertising by 158 percent. As distillers reduced their advertising, overall alcohol advertising exposure for all age groups declined.

The report also showed that though youth exposure to advertising for distilled spirits fell by 62 percent, exposure to beer ads in magazines rose by 57 percent.

The findings of the report highlight the importance of a unified front among members of the industry to combat the influence of alcohol advertising on teens. Further research may be required to understand how to motivate the companies to reduce magazine advertising that increases youth exposure to alcohol.