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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

BU: Alcohol Ads Linked to Teen Brand Use

The more youth are exposed to an alcohol brand’s advertising on TV or in magazines, the more likely they are to consume that brand, according to a new study by researchers from the Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) and the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Overall exposure to brand-specific alcohol advertising is a significant predictor of underage youth alcohol brand consumption, with youths ages 13 to 20 more than five times more likely to consume brands that advertise on national television and 36 percent more likely to consume brands that advertise in national magazines, compared to brands that don’t advertise in these media.

The report, published online in the American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, is believed to be the first study to examine the relationship between brand-specific advertising and brand-specific consumption of alcohol among underage drinkers, using the 898 brands that were available on the U.S. market in 2011.

“Until research showed the effects of the Joe Camel advertising campaign on what cigarette brands youth smoked, it was controversial to say that a relationship between cigarette marketing and youth cigarette consumption existed,” said lead study author Dr. Michael Siegel, professor of community health sciences at BUSPH. “But once the relationship between cigarette ads and the brands that youth were smoking was established, significant policy shifts occurred, as state and federal policy makers took the issue of advertising exposure to youth much more seriously.”

To read more about the study, go to: