Cutting alcohol ads in sport sends the right message to youngsters

The Media Online
Susan Goldstein

In the U.S. alcohol advertisers spent $2 billion on alcohol advertising in measured media – television, radio, print, outdoor, major newspapers and Sunday supplements – in 2005.

Because the adverts were placed in media the youth would likely engage with, U.S. youth viewed 45% more beer ads and 27% more liquor ads in magazines than people of legal drinking age. They also watched an average of 2,000 television ads for alcohol per year.

There is extensive research showing that young people who are exposed to alcohol advertising are more likely to intend to drink, start drinking at an early age and to drink more than those not exposed.

Unlike many harmful substances, alcohol is legal in most societies, and is freely advertised and promoted. This includes marketing and promoting excessive use, as seen through the creation of the six pack and 12 pack, promoting high rates of use. But there is evidence that banning the advertising of a product does produce results.

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