Authors: David H. Jernigan, Alisa Padon, Craig Ross, Dina Borzekowski
Title: Self-Reported Youth and Adult Exposure to Alcohol Marketing in Traditional and Digital Media: Results of a Pilot Survey
Journal: Alcoholism:Clinical and Experimental Research, doi:10.1111/acer.13331

Background: Alcohol marketing is known to be a significant risk factor for underage drinking. However, little is known about youth and adult exposure to alcohol advertising in digital and social media. This study piloted a comparative assessment of youth and adult recall of exposure to online marketing of alcohol.

Methods: From September to October 2013, a pilot survey of past 30-day exposure to alcohol advertising and promotional content in traditional and digital media was administered to a national sample of 1,192 youth (ages 13 to 20) and 1,124 adults (ages ≥21) using a prerecruited Internet panel maintained by GfK Custom Research. The weighted proportions of youth and adults who reported this exposure were compared by media type and by advertising and promotional content.

Results: Youth were more likely than adults to recall exposure to alcohol advertising on television (69.2% vs. 61.9%), radio (24.8% vs. 16.7%), billboards (54.8% vs. 35.4%), and the Internet (29.7% vs. 16.8%), but less likely to recall seeing advertising in magazines (35.7% vs. 36.4%). Youth were also more likely to recall seeing advertisements and pictures on the Internet of celebrities using alcohol (36.1% vs. 20.8%) or wearing clothing promoting alcohol (27.7% vs. 15.9%), and actively respond (i.e., like, share, or post) to alcohol-related content online.

Conclusion: Youth report greater exposure to alcohol advertising and promotional content than adults in most media, including on the Internet. These findings emphasize the need to assure compliance with voluntary industry standards on the placement of alcohol advertising and the importance of developing better tools for monitoring youth exposure to alcohol marketing, particularly on the Internet.

The article can be downloaded via this Online Wiley Library.

Authors: M. Petticrew, N. Douglas, P. D’Souza, Y.M. Shi, M.A. Durand, C. Knai, E. Eastmure, N. Mays Title: Community Alcohol Partnerships with the alcohol industry: what is their purpose and are they effective in reducing alcohol harms? Journal: Journal of Public Health, pp. 1–16, doi:10.1093/pubmed/fdw139 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Abstract: Background:  Local initiatives to reduce alcohol harms are common. One UK approach, Community Alcohol Partnerships (CAPs), involves partnerships between the alcohol industry and local government, focussing on alcohol misuse and anti-social behaviour (ASB) among young people. This study aimed to assess the evidence of effectiveness of CAPs. Methods:  We searched CAP websites and documents, and databases, and contacted CAPs to identify evaluations and summarize their findings. We appraised these against four methodological criteria: (i) reporting of pre–post data; (ii) use of comparison area(s); (iii) length of follow-up; and (iv) baseline comparability of comparison and intervention areas. Results: Out of 88 CAPs, we found three CAP evaluations which used controlled designs or comparison areas, and further data on 10 other CAPs. The most robust evaluations found little change in ASB, though few data were presented. While CAPs appear to affect public perceptions of ASB, this is not a measure of the effectiveness of CAPs. Conclusion: Despite industry claims, the few existing evaluations do not provide convincing evidence that CAPs are effective in reducing alcohol harms or ASB. Their main role may be as an alcohol industry corporate social responsibility measure which is intended to limit the reputational damage associated with alcohol-related ASB. The article (full text) can be downloaded via this link.

Authors: Kate Robaina, MPH, Thomas Babor, PhD, MPH & Jonathan Noel, MPH (2016).

Title: Evaluating compliance with alcohol industry self-regulation in seven countries in Africa. An external evaluation of the MAMPA (Monitoring Alcohol Marketing Practices in Africa) project. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Executive summary

The Monitoring Alcohol Marketing Practices in Africa (MAMPA) Project was a public health surveillance program devoted to monitoring alcohol marketing activities in the African region as well as youth exposure to these marketing activities. The first project report was the subject of a World Health Organization (WHO) technical meeting in Brazzaville in 2012, where it was recognized that MAMPA had methodological limitations that precluded definitive conclusions about the extent to which alcohol marketing in four countries within Africa violated international guidelines regarding the exposure of young persons to potentially harmful advertising content. It was recommended that content of advertisements should be analyzed using a coding scheme developed by a panel of experts.

Following the meeting, the WHO Regional Office for Africa asked researchers from the University of Connecticut School of Medicine to systematically evaluate the marketing materials collected as part of the MAMPA project, and to expand the study to include the second wave of data collected from three other sub-Saharan African countries: Kenya, Malawi, and Namibia.

The purpose of this report is to describe the results of an independent analysis of the MAMPA data. The specific aims of the re-analysis of the MAMPA marketing data were: 1) to provide estimates of the prevalence of code violations in alcohol advertisements within and across these seven African nations, 2) to determine which sections of the Code were violated most often; 3) to determine if different producers and media had more violations than others; and 4) to test the feasibility of a new standardized rating procedure to evaluate code violations in alcohol marketing materials (Babor, Xuan & Damon, 2013a). Developed initially for television and print media, the procedure is applied for the first time in this study to radio ads and outdoor advertisements.

Ethnographic field methods were used to collect marketing materials from rural and urban areas of seven countries: Ghana, Nigeria, Uganda, the Gambia, Kenya, Malawi and Namibia. These countries were selected to provide a range of social availability climates (according to religion and culture) and regulatory environments (ranging from a ban on alcohol advertising to only partial restriction).

Examples of unique marketing materials (N=282) used by both domestic and foreign alcohol producers were obtained by trained observers recruited from public health NGOs and research NGOs working on alcohol prevention and operating at the national level within each country. Observers were trained to collect digital recordings of visual stimuli across four types of media: TV, radio, print and outdoor advertising. In order to conduct this secondary analysis of the data collected in the original four MAMPA countries and in the three additional countries, all unique alcohol ads from each country were identified from the available recordings and abstracted into individual video, audio, or image files.

Because of between-country variation in alcohol marketing regulations, a set of guidelines developed by the alcohol industry (ICAP’s Guiding Principles: Self-Regulation of Marketing Communications for Beverage Alcohol) were chosen as the standard code to compare all advertisements. Using an objective Delphi rating procedure developed and validated in prior alcohol marketing research (Babor, Xuan & Proctor,
2008; Babor et al., 2013a), the ads were subjected to an evaluation by 9 trained raters across two rounds, the second of which allowed the raters to see the average ratings of the group. Each rater had experience in public health, substance use, or public health, and was considered to have the necessary expertise to protect vulnerable populations. Raters were from Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria and the US. Interrater reliability between the raters was assessed using violation level and item-level data and was found to be high.

In total, 282 unique examples of alcohol advertising were analyzed. Observers collected the largest number of marketing examples in Uganda (25.2% of all examples) and Nigeria (24.8%). The Gambia, where there is a ban on alcohol advertising, contributed only 1.4% of the total ads collected. Over seventy percent (70.6%) of ads collected from all countries were obtained from outdoor media (billboards, posters, signage, etc.).

Overall, 78 advertisements (27.7%) were found to contain at least one violation, representing an industry compliance rate of 72.3%. Advertisements collected from Kenya were the most likely to contain a violation. Guiding Principle 5, which refers to “the effects of alcohol,” accounted for the largest number of violations (77 ads). This guideline was most often scored as a violation because of the suggestion that alcoholic beverages can enhance attractiveness and/ or remove social or sexual inhibitions (n=51) and/ or presenting alcohol as necessary for social success or acceptance (n=63). The second most frequently violated guideline was Guiding Principle 3 (69 ads), which speaks to health and safety aspects in marketing communications. This principle was most often violated for presenting alcohol as a stimulant, sedative or tranquilizer (50 ads), and suggesting that alcohol can “prevent, treat or cure illness or resolve personal problems” (29 ads).

Violation rates significantly differed between media (p = <.001), with television ads having the highest proportion of violations (72.2%) and outdoor ads having the lowest (21.6%). Certain types of outdoor ads, however (e.g. billboards and posters), contained higher violation rates (37.3% and 30.8%, respectively).

The findings suggest that code violations of the ICAP Guiding Principles were prevalent in the four types of media sampled during the MAMPA project in the seven countries. It is interesting to note that the country with the fewest marketing materials recorded (n = 4) was The Gambia, which is a Muslim country with a ban on most forms of advertising. Despite the limitations of the prior MAMPA project and the current re-analysis, this research establishes a basis for a monitoring and regulating alcohol advertising in African countries. The methodology offers a systematic way to evaluate media advertisements of alcoholic beverages to determine whether their contents comply with generally accepted guidelines for responsible advertising practices.

Based on the evidence described above, governments and policymakers should give serious consideration to the key messages emerging from the Consultative meeting on addressing alcohol marketing in the African Region (WHO, 2012) and from the PAHO Expert Meeting on Alcohol Marketing Regulation (PAHO,
2016), which are consistent with the well-documented premise that alcohol is not an ordinary commodity (Babor et al., 2010) and should not be marketed as such.

These findings provide evidence of violations in the seven countries studied and the need for systematic surveillance of alcoholic beverage marketing to protect vulnerable populations such as youth, who may already be experiencing problems related to their alcohol use.

Our secondary analysis of the original MAMPA marketing data confirms the conclusions of the original MAMPA report, in that it provides strong evidence of code violations in all media evaluated, and suggests that exposure to potentially harmful alcohol marketing content is widespread in six of the seven countries studied. These reports also raise questions about the effectiveness of current industry efforts to regulate alcohol marketing.

The report (full text) can be downloaded via this link. 

Authors: Thomas F. Babor, Katherine Robaina, Jonathan K. Noel, E. Bruce Ritson Title: Vulnerability to alcohol-related problems: a policy brief with implications for the regulation of alcohol marketing Journal: Addiction, 2016, 10.1111/add.13626OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Abstract: Background and aims: The concern that alcohol advertising can have detrimental effects on vulnerable viewers has prompted the development of codes of responsible advertising practices. This paper evaluates critically the concept of vulnerability as it applies to (1) susceptibility to alcohol-related harm and (2) susceptibility to the effects of marketing, and describes its implications for the regulation of alcohol marketing. Methods: We describe the findings of key published studies, review papers and expert reports to determine whether these two types of vulnerability apply to population groups defined by (1) age and developmental history; (2) personality characteristics; (3) family history of alcoholism; (4) female sex and pregnancy risk; and (5) history of alcohol dependence and recovery status. Results: Developmental theory and research suggest that groups defined by younger age, incomplete neurocognitive development and a history of alcohol dependence may be particularly vulnerable because of the disproportionate harm they experience from alcohol and their increased susceptibility to alcohol marketing. Children may be more susceptible to media imagery because they do not have the ability to compensate for biases in advertising portrayals and glamorized media imagery. Conclusion: Young people and people with a history of alcohol dependence appear to be especially vulnerable to alcohol marketing, warranting the development of new content and exposure guidelines focused on protecting those groups to improve current self-regulation codes promoted by the alcohol industry. If adequate protections cannot be implemented through this mechanism, statutory regulations should be considered. The article (full text) can be downloaded via this link in the Wiley Online Library.
Authors: Daniela Pantani, Raquel Peltzer, Mariana Cremonte, Katherine Robaina, Thomas Babor and Ilana Pinsky Title: The marketing potential of corporate social responsibilityactivities: the case of the alcohol industry in LatinAmerica and the Caribbean Journal: Addiction, 10 January 2017, DOI: 10.1111/add.13616OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Abstract: Aims: The aims were to: (1) identify, monitor and analyse the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) practices of the alcohol industry in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) and (2) examine whether the alcohol industry is using these actions to market their products and brands. Methods: Nine health experts from Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay conductea content analysis of 218 CSR activities using a standardized protocol. A content rating procedure was used to evaluate the marketing potential of CSR activities as well as their probable population reach and effectiveness. The LEAD procedur(longitudinal, expert and all data) was applied to verify the accuracy of industry-reported descriptions. Results: A total of 55.8% of the actions were found to have a marketing potential, based on evidence that they are likely to promote brandand products. Actions with marketing potential were more likely to reach a larger audience than actions classied with no marketing potential. Most actions did not t into any category recommended by the World Health Organization; 50% of the actions involving classroom and college education for young people were found to have marketing potential; 62.3were classied as meeting the denition of risk management CSR. Conclusion: Alcohol industry Corporate Social Responsibility activities in Latin America and the Caribbean appear to have a strategic marketing role beyond their stated philanthropic and public health purpose The article (full text) can be downloaded via this link in the Wiley Online Library.
Authors: Jonathan K. Noel, Thomas F. Babor and Katherine Robaina Title: Industry self-regulation of alcohol marketing: a systematic review of content and exposure research Journal: Addiction, (2016). DOI: 10.1111/add.13410OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Abstract: Background and aims: With governments relying increasingly upon the alcohol industry's self-regulated marketing codes to restrict alcohol marketing activity, there is a need to summarize the findings of research relevant to alcohol marketing controls. This paper provides a systematic review of studies investigating the content of, and exposure to, alcohol marketing in relation to self-regulated guidelines. Method: Peer-reviewed papers were identified through four literature search engines: SCOPUS, Web of Science, PubMed and PsychINFO. Non-peer-reviewed reports produced by public health agencies, alcohol research centers, non-governmental organizations and government research centers were also identified. Ninety-six publications met the inclusion criteria. Results: Of the 19 studies evaluating a specific marketing code and 25 content analysis studies reviewed, all detected content that could be considered potentially harmful to children and adolescents, including themes that appeal strongly to young men. Of the 57 studies of alcohol advertising exposure, high levels of youth exposure and high awareness of alcohol advertising were found for television, radio, print, digital and outdoor advertisements. Youth exposure to alcohol advertising has increased over time, even as greater compliance with exposure thresholds has been documented. Conclusion: Violations of the content guidelines within self-regulated alcohol marketing codes are highly prevalent in certain media. Exposure to alcohol marketing, particularly among youth, is also prevalent. Taken together, the findings suggest that the current self-regulatory systems that govern alcohol marketing practices are not meeting their intended goal of protecting vulnerable populations. The article can be downloaded in the Wiley Online Library.
Authors: Jo Cranwell, John Britton, Manpreet Bains Title: “F*ck It! Let’s Get to Drinking—Poison our Livers!”: a Thematic Analysis of Alcohol Content in Contemporary YouTube Music Videos Journal: International Journal of Behavioral Medicine, (2016). doi:10.1007/s12529-016-9578-3OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Abstract: Purpose: The purpose of the present study is to describe the portrayal of alcohol content in popular YouTube music videos. Method: We used inductive thematic analysis to explore the lyrics and visual imagery in 49 UK Top 40 songs and music videos previously found to contain alcohol content and watched by many British adolescents aged between 11 and 18 years and to examine if branded content contravened alcohol industry advertising codes of practice. Results: The analysis generated three themes. First, alcohol content was associated with sexualised imagery or lyrics and the objectification of women. Second, alcohol was associated with image, lifestyle and sociability. Finally, some videos showed alcohol overtly encouraging excessive drinking and drunkenness, including those containing branding, with no negative consequences to the drinker. Conclusion: Our results suggest that YouTube music videos promote positive associations with alcohol use. Further, several alcohol companies adopt marketing strategies in the video medium that are entirely inconsistent with their own or others agreed advertising codes of practice. We conclude that, as a harm reduction measure, policies should change to prevent adolescent exposure to the positive promotion of alcohol and alcohol branding in music videos. The article (full text) can be downloaded via this link.
Authors: Jo Cranwell, Magdalena Opazo-Breton, John Britton Title: Adult and adolescent exposure to tobacco and alcohol content in contemporary YouTube music videos in Great Britain: a population estimate Journal: Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health 2016;70:488-492 doi:10.1136/jech-2015-206402OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Abstract: Background: We estimate exposure of British adults and adolescents to tobacco and alcohol content from a sample of popular YouTube music videos.

Methods: British viewing figures were generated from 2 representative online national surveys of adult and adolescent viewing of the 32 most popular videos containing content. 2068 adolescents aged 11–18 years (1010 boys, 1058 girls), and 2232 adults aged 19+years (1052 male, 1180 female) completed the surveys. We used the number of 10 s intervals in the 32 most popular videos containing content to estimate the number of impressions. We extrapolated gross and per capita impressions for the British population from census data and estimated numbers of adults and adolescents who had ever watched the sampled videos.

Results: From video release to the point of survey, the videos delivered an estimated 1006 million gross impressions of alcohol (95% CI 748 to 1264 million), and 203 million of tobacco (95% CI 151 to 255 million), to the British population. Per capita exposure was around 5 times higher for alcohol than for tobacco, and nearly 4 times higher in adolescents, who were exposed to an average of 52.1 (95% CI 43.4 to 60.9) and 10.5 (95% CI 8.8 to 12.3) alcohol and tobacco impressions, respectively, than in adults (14.1 (95% CI 10.2 to 18.1) and 2.9 (95% CI 2.1 to 3.6)). Exposure rates were higher in girls than in boys.

Conclusions YouTube music videos deliver millions of gross impressions of alcohol and tobacco content. Adolescents are exposed much more than adults. Music videos are a major global medium of exposure to such content.

The article (full text) can be downloaded via this link.
Authors: Jo CranwellRachael Murray, Sarah Lewis, Jo Leonardi-Bee, Martin Dockrell, John Britton Title: Adolescents’ exposure to tobacco and alcohol content in YouTube music videos Journal: Addiction, 2015; 10.1111/add.12835OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Abstract: Aims: To quantify tobacco and alcohol content, including branding, in popular contemporary YouTube music videos; and measure adolescent exposure to such content. Design: Ten-second interval content analysis of alcohol, tobacco or electronic cigarette imagery in all UK Top 40 YouTube music videos during a 12-week period in 2013/14; on-line national survey of adolescent viewing of the 32 most popular high-content videos. Setting: Great Britain. Participants: A total of 2068 adolescents aged 11–18 years who completed an on-line survey. Measurements: Occurrence of alcohol, tobacco and electronic cigarette use, implied use, paraphernalia or branding in music videos and proportions and estimated numbers of adolescents who had watched sampled videos. Findings: Alcohol imagery appeared in 45% [95% confidence interval (CI) = 33–51%] of all videos, tobacco in 22% (95% CI = 13–27%) and electronic cigarettes in 2% (95% CI = 0–4%). Alcohol branding appeared in 7% (95% CI = 2–11%) of videos, tobacco branding in 4% (95% CI = 0–7%) and electronic cigarettes in 1% (95% CI = 0–3%). The most frequently observed alcohol, tobacco and electronic cigarette brands were, respectively, Absolut Tune, Marlboro and E-Lites. At least one of the 32 most popular music videos containing alcohol or tobacco content had been seen by 81% (95% CI = 79%, 83%) of adolescents surveyed, and of these 87% (95% CI = 85%, 89%) had re-watched at least one video. The average number of videos seen was 7.1 (95% CI = 6.8, 7.4). Girls were more likely to watch and also re-watch the videos than boys, P < 0.001. Conclusions: Popular YouTube music videos watched by a large number of British adolescents, particularly girls, include significant tobacco and alcohol content, including branding. The article (full text) can be downloaded via this link.
Authors: Jo Cranwell, Kathy Whittamore, John Britton & Jo Leonardi-Bee Title: Alcohol and tobacco content in UK video games and their association with alcohol and tobacco use among young people Journal: Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 2016; 19 (7): 426 DOI: 10.1089/cyber.2016.0093OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Abstract: To determine the extent to which video games include alcohol and tobacco content and assess the association between playing them and alcohol and smoking behaviors in adolescent players in Great Britain. Assessment of substance in the 32 UK bestselling video games of 2012/2013; online survey of adolescent playing of 17 games with substance content; and content analysis of the five most popular games. A total of 1,094 adolescents aged 11–17 years were included as participants. Reported presence of substance content in the 32 games; estimated numbers of adolescents who had played games; self-reported substance use; semiquantitative measures of substance content by interval coding of video game cut scenes. Nonofficial sources reported substance content in 17 (44 percent) games but none was reported by the official Pan European Game Information (PEGI) system. Adolescents who had played at least one game were significantly more likely ever to have tried smoking (adjusted odds ratio [OR] 2.70, 95 percent confidence interval [CI] 1.75–4.17) or consumed alcohol (adjusted OR 2.35, 95 percent CI 1.70–3.23). In the five most popular game episodes of alcohol actual use, implied use and paraphernalia occurred in 31 (14 percent), 81 (37 percent), and 41 (19 percent) intervals, respectively. Tobacco actual use, implied use, and paraphernalia occurred in 32 (15 percent), 27 (12 percent), and 53 (24 percent) intervals, respectively. Alcohol and tobacco content is common in the most popular video games but not reported by the official PEGI system. Content analysis identified substantial substance content in a sample of those games. Adolescents who play these video games are more likely to have experimented with tobacco and alcohol. The article (full text) can be downloaded via this link in the Liebert Library.