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Alcohol Marketing Targets Teens

A new study has found that ads featuring alcohol products that violate industry standards are most likely to appear in magazines with a teenage readership. If ads appear to target an underage audience, focus on the high alcohol content, or feature drinking along with activities that require concentration, such as playing sports, they violate industry standards.

The study was conducted at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Researchers studied 1261 ads for alcohol that appeared over 2500 times in over ten magazines popular with a teenage audience. These ads were rated on criteria based on industry standards to see whether or not they violated such standards.

Study co-author Dr. David Jerginson stated, “The finding that violations of the alcohol industry’s advertising standards were most common in magazines with the most youthful audiences tells us self-regulated voluntary codes are failing. It’s time to seriously consider stronger limits on youth exposure to alcohol advertising.”

Many of the ads portrayed drinking alcoholic beverages near or on the water. According to the study, this type of advertisement encourages over drinking and sends messages that support addiction to alcohol.

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