While previous studies have shown that the average adolescent is exposed to well over 200 alcohol ads on television each year, this is the first to demonstrate an association between ad placement and teen cable TV viewership. Cable TV attracts about 95 percent of all nationally televised alcohol ads.
The study will be published in the October issue of the American Journal of Public Health and is currently available online by subscription.
"Alcohol advertisers have pledged to avoid audiences made up of more than 30 percent underage viewers — such as children's programming," said David H. Jernigan, director of the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth and an associate professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. "However, many other shows have adolescent appeal. This research suggests that ads are aimed at groups that include a disproportionate number of teens and that the alcohol industry's voluntary self-monitoring is not working to reduce adolescent exposure to ads."
Using advertising industry data from Nielsen Media Research, researchers examined all 600,000 national cable alcohol ads shown from 2001 through 2006 to audiences with less than 30 percent of viewers between the ages of 12 and 20. Among the findings:
Audiences with a higher percentage of youth between the ages of 12 and 20 were exposed to a higher frequency of alcohol ads, even after accounting for other factors that might explain ad placement decisions.
Each 1-percentage-point increase in adolescent viewership was associated with a 7-percent increase in beer ads, a 15-percent increase in spirits ads and a 22-percent increase in ads for low-alcohol refreshers/alcopops — flavored alcoholic beverages that taste similar to juice or soda.
In contrast, wine ads decreased by 8 percent with each 1-percentage-point increase in adolescent viewership; this finding suggests that alcohol advertisers can, in fact, successfully avoid adolescent audiences.
"This study did not examine whether alcohol advertisers are intentionally overexposing adolescents," said lead study author Dr. Paul J. Chung, assistant professor of pediatrics at Mattel Children's Hospital UCLA and a senior natural scientist at the RAND Corp. "The alcohol industry has consistently denied actively targeting teens, and our study isn't designed to test that claim. However, the ultimate effect of their advertising strategies, intentional or not, appears to be greater exposure than might be expected if adults were the sole targets of ads."
For years, alcohol has been the substance of abuse most commonly used by teens in the United States, and the public health consequences of underage drinking are considerable. Numerous studies and national statistics report that adolescents are involved in a significant proportion of the injuries, violence and crime that stem from binge drinking and other forms of alcohol abuse. Moreover, studies have shown that starting to drink as an adolescent has been linked with much greater risks of lifelong problem drinking.
Multiple studies suggest that alcohol ads can have substantial influence on underage drinking attitudes and behaviors.
"It's difficult to document experimentally," said Chung, who also directs the UCLA–RAND Center for Adolescent Health Promotion. "But there's not too much doubt that advertising and marketing affect the behavior of both children and adults. Common sense tells us that if it didn't work, companies probably wouldn't be spending so much money on it. So, it's a lot harder for parents, teachers and clinicians to successfully encourage kids to delay drinking when so many things they're seeing — on television, on billboards, on movie screens, on the Internet — are telling them otherwise."
This study was supported in part by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, grants from the Pew Charitable Trusts and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth at Johns Hopkins University (formerly at Georgetown University), and a grant from Pfizer.
Additional study authors included Craig F. Garfield from the North Shore University Health System, Marc N. Elliott from the RAND Corp., Joshua Ostroff and Craig Ross from Virtual Media Resources, Katherine D. Vestal from UCLA, and senior author Mark A. Schuster from Harvard Medical School, Children's Hospital Boston and RAND.
The authors have no financial ties to disclose.
Amy Albin | EurekAlert!
New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)
Reusable carbon nanotubes could be the water filter of the future, says RIT study
30.03.2017 | Rochester Institute of Technology
More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.
Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...
Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.
"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...
The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
28.04.2017 | Event News
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering
28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences
28.04.2017 | Life Sciences