Underage youth are nearly twice as likely to recall seeing alcohol marketing on the internet than adults, with almost one in three saying they saw alcohol-related content in the previous month, according to a new pilot survey led by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
The young people, those between the ages of 13 and 20 who responded to an online survey, were also more likely than adults surveyed to report seeing or hearing alcohol marketing within the previous month in traditional outlets, including television (69 percent versus 62 percent), radio (25 percent versus 17 percent), and billboards (55 percent versus 35 percent). The greatest difference between adults and youth occurred when asked about exposure to alcohol advertising on the internet (30 percent versus 17 percent).
The findings underscore previous research suggesting that youth may be impressionable to many of the messages conveyed by alcohol marketing, for instance, that drinking can lead to happiness and social acceptance.
The research was led by the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth (CAMY), part of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and is published online in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. The study was the first to pilot questions about youth and adult recall of alcohol marketing online.