According to a study conducted by researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, African American children are exposed to more alcohol advertising than children from other racial groups.
The researchers analyzed data comprised of trends in magazine, radio and television ads that children of all races were exposed to. Their motivation for the study came from a previous study that found 65 percent of all African American high school students had tried at least a sip of alcohol, and 25 percent of them drank alcohol before the age of 13.
According to study, alcohol is the most widely used drug for African American youth. The researchers released the following statement concerning their findings “At least 14 studies have found that the more young people are exposed to alcohol advertising and marketing, the more likely they are to drink, or if they are already drinking, to drink more.”
The researchers conclude that African American youth are exposed to 32 percent more alcohol ads than all other youth in nationally distributed magazines in 2008. They also found that African American youth saw 17 percent more alcohol advertising per capita than other American nationalities and they were exposed to 20 percent more liquor advertising.
How has this happened?
Author David Jernigan, PhD and lead researcher asserts, “the report’s central finding—that African-American youth are being over-exposed to alcohol advertising—is a result of two key phenomena. First, brands are specifically targeting African-American audiences and, secondly, African-American media habits make them more vulnerable to alcohol advertising in general because of higher levels of media consumption. As a result, there should be a commitment from alcohol marketers to cut exposure to this high-risk population.”
The study hopes to sway alcohol advertisers to be more mindful of the message they are sending to African American youth. No alcohol advertisers were cited as making comments regarding the research findings.