American study shows alcohol brands marketing through music lyricsA recent American study found that four brands of alcohol accounted for more than half of the brands named in popular song lyrics. The researchers suggest their finding are no coincidence, but are likely the result of sponsorship deals.

The research conducted by the School of Public Health and the Bloomberg School of Public Health suggests that in lyrics from Billboard’s most popular song lists in 2009, 2010, and 2011, four brands appeared with surprising frequency: Patron tequila, Hennessy cognac, Grey Goose vodka, and Jack Daniel’s whiskey. They accounted for more than half of the brands named in songs that referred to alcohol brands.

“You would expect there would be hundreds of brands that are randomly mentioned,” lead researcher Michael Siegel told Boston University Today. “But we found that those top four accounted for 52 per cent of all the brand mentions. That can’t be
coincidental.”

Additionally, the study found that alcohol use was portrayed as overwhelmingly positive in lyrics, with negative consequences almost never referred to. These findings, published in the journal Substance Use & Misuse, raise questions about the relationship between alcohol companies and the music industry.

According to the article, preliminary data about youth alcohol consumption suggests that many of the brands that were recurrently named in songs, also are popular drinks with underage drinkers. The authors called the results “alarming, because they suggest that popular music may be serving as a major source of promotion of alcohol use in general—and of consumption of specific brands in particular—to underage youth.” Siegel, a professor of community health sciences, stresses that further research is needed to determine a “causal connection” between promotion in music and actual consumption.

“What we have to recognize is that the placement of brands in music is a form of alcohol marketing,” Siegel told the Boston University Today. “It’s similar to when cigarette companies used to pay production companies to feature their brands in movies. Alcohol companies are now the ones developing financial relationships to encourage this kind of marketing. It really needs to be recognized as marketing, not random chance.”

Source BU.EDU 12/05/13

The abstract of the study is available online here>>

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