Overall exposure to brand-specific alcohol advertising is a significant predictor of underage youth alcohol brand consumption, with youth 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 do not advertise in these media.
The report, which will be published online on October 20 by the American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, is from researchers with the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth (CAMY) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Boston University School of Public Health. It 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.
While previous studies relied on self-reporting by youth to measure their exposure to alcohol advertising, this report used U.S. national population exposure estimates from media research firms, specifically, underage youth exposure to alcohol advertising by brand in national magazines from GfK MRI, and on national television programs from Nielsen. As for alcohol consumption, researchers asked 1,031 underage drinkers which of the 898 brands they had consumed in the past thirty days using an online national survey conducted between December 2011 and May 2012.
“Marketing exposure is increasingly recognized as an important factor in youth drinking, yet few studies have examined the relationship between overall advertising exposure and alcohol consumption at the brand level,” says lead study co-author Dr. David Jernigan, CAMY director and an associate professor in the Bloomberg School’s department of health, behavior and society. “These findings indicate that youth are in fact consuming the same alcohol brands that they are most heavily exposed to via advertising.”