THE EFFECTS OF ONLINE MARKETING ON DRINKING BEHAVIORS OF YOUNG PEOPLE TESTING CONTENT RESTRICTIONS IN SELF-REGULATION CODES * SPORT SPONSORING IN GERMANYSPORT SPONSORING IN DENMARK * SPORT SPONSORING IN THE NETHERLANDS SPORT SPONSORING IN BULGARIA * SPORT SPONSORING IN ITALY *  THE IMPACT OF ALCOHOL MARKETING EXPOSURE ON THE DRINKING BEHAVIOUR OF YOUNG PEOPLELEGAL POSSIBILITIES OF A COMPREHENSIVE ALCOHOL ADVERTISING BAN IN EUROPEALCOHOL MARKETING REGULATIONS IN EUROPE: HOW EFFECTIVE ARE THEY?IMPACT OF ALCOHOL ADVERTISING IN THE CINEMAWHY ARE YOUNG PEOPLE IN PARTICULAR VULNERABLE TO ALCOHOL ADVERTISING AND PROMOTION?ALCOHOL – MARKETING AND YOUNG PEOPLETHE RISE OF ALCOHOLIC ENERGY DRINKS IN EUROPE

HEINEKEN ALL OVER. AN ANALYSIS OF THE YOUTH FRIENDLY MARKETING STRATEGY OF HEINEKEN (2016) *ALCOHOL MARKETING DURING THE 2014 WORLD CUP FOOTBAL * MARKETING TACTICS DURING THE ECONOMIC RECESSION * SUPER STRONG, SUPER SIZED & SUPER CHEAP * INVENTORY OF ALCOHOL PORTRAYAL IN EUROPE’S MOST POPULAR MOVIES * ALCOHOL ADVERTISING IN NEW MEDIA * CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY: THE NEW MARKETING TOOL * ALCOHOL-FLAVOURED FOOD * WOMEN: THE NEW MARKET * DRINKS WITH A BOOST: ALCOHOLIC ENERGY DRINKS * THE GREEN AND HEALTHY IMAGE OF ALCOHOL

EUCAM signalised new trends in alcohol marketing in a youth friendly sporting context in 8 European countries. alcohol marketing during the world cup
The recent FIFA World Cup in 2014 was an excellent opportunity for alcohol producers worldwide to promote their products and experiment with new media strategies. A frequency analysis suggests an alcohol brand reference was visible every minute during six analysed matches broadcasted on Brittish TV (1). EUCAM, the European Centre for Monitoring Alcohol Marketing, analysed the various marketing techniques used by the alcohol industry during the World Cup. Examples of these strategies were collected by EUCAM focus points in Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Denmark, Iceland, the Netherlands, Spain and England. The results have been published in a trend report. One of the main conclusions is that the relative share of internet based new media advertising seems to become bigger compared to that of the traditional media.

Cross-media campaigns dominate the alcohol marketing scene 
Cross-media campaigns are certainly no new addition to alcohol marketing. However during the 2014 FIFA World Cup it was striking to see the intensive strategic relationship between all the different forms of media like television, promotional world cup packaging, specific promotional items and social media. 

Another clear trend was that of in-store ads and world cup promotional packaging. These marketing practices were working in tandem to get people attracted to promotional items, which in turn had to lead to more people buying beer in order to obtain these items. 

More exposure of alcohol marketing leads to more adolescent drinkers
The report of EUCAM also strongly shows how the alcohol industry ties sports to drinking alcohol, and how it sells to millions of young and older people the idea that you can’t enjoy one without the other. A proven consequence of this enormous exposure of alcohol marketing is that it leads to adolescents starting to drink earlier and to drink more if they had already started drinking (2-3). Additionally, the ownership of promotional items, such as discussed in this report, correlates significantly with adolescents drinking (2-5).

Need for comprehensive regulations
The report shows that the alcohol industry within the existing alcohol marketing (self) regulation has enough space to create advertising which is attractive to young people and is actively exposed to young people. One conclusion is that regulations aimed at traditional media don’t work for new media, and partially regulating one medium also doesn’t work. This shows the need for a comprehensive measure, such as a total ban on alcohol marketing if we as a society want to protect our children from the harmful effects of exposure to all the different faces of alcohol marketing.

The report can be downloaded here. For questions or comments about the report, please contact Gerard van der Waal at gvanderwaal@eucam.info.

Below is an overview of international alcohol branded TV spots that tied into the World Cup: Worldwide UK UK Belgium Croatia the Netherlands the Netherlands

The alcohol industry has reacted on the economic recession by taking various actions. A new EUCAM trend report aims to provide insight in the marketing tactics of the alcohol industry in this period. Moreover, it describes patterns in alcohol consumption during the recession period.

This report shows that not only have the alcohol producers reacted to the recession, consumers have done so as well. For instance, consumers are less likely to go out and are less focused on purchasing brands. Instead, consumers are seeking deals and values. They are turning toward pre-drinking, and such changes in drinking patterns have in turn altered the alcohol industry’s marketing tactics through product development and value dealings.

Another clear shift both from consumers and in turn the industry, is the move from on-trade licences to off-trade licences such as supermarkets, where beer is regularly sold cheaper than sodas. Research from Ireland even suggests that alcoholic products are being sold for cheaper than the price of staple products such as water. Other trends that are described in the report are the move towards smaller and cheaper packaging as well as that of contests to win money. Additionally, the report shows how the industry is actively opposing effective health protective policy, such as the introduction of Minimum Unit Pricing, with a strong lobby. This lobby is also used to create the image that the brewing industry is of vital importance to the European economy. In summary, the report shows that alcohol marketers are resilient and adaptable and choose to aggressively market products for profit rather than protect population health.

The full report can be downloaded and read here

The effects of online marketing on drinking This review of currently available scientific literature shows exposure to online alcohol marketing leads to advancing the onset of alcohol consumption, increasing the amount consumed, as well as the frequency of consumption. 

Gap in the literature It has been well established by various studies that exposure to alcohol advertising affects the drinking behaviour of young people. Empirical- and review studies supporting this have been published in peer reviewed journals [1-4] and by the Science Group of the Alcohol and Health Forum of the European Commission [5]. However, there appears to be a gap in the literature and common knowledge when it comes to the specific measured effects of online alcohol marketing. To fill this gap, EUCAM initiated a non-systematic literature review which found 10 studies that in one way or another measured the effects of exposure to digital or online alcohol marketing on the drinking behaviour of young people.

Main findings:  Two studies which did not specifically identify online alcohol marketing exposure, found positive associations with drinking, despite their broad scope [6, 7].  Three studies, in which online alcohol marketing is part of a cumulative exposure measure, show a positive association between exposure to alcohol marketing and young people’s drinking behaviour [8-10].  Three studies directly measured exposure to online alcohol marketing and showed strong positive associations [11-13].  In these last three studies, effects ranged from advancing the onset of alcohol consumption, increasing the amount consumed, as well as the frequency of consumption [11-13]. One study even suggests an association with binge drinking [13].  One study found that the effect of online alcohol advertising was almost twice as strong as that of traditional marketing [11].  It’s not just commercial advertising messages: In two studies a strong association has been found between young people explicitly presenting their selves as drinkers (assuming an ‘alcohol identity’) on social network sites and harmful drinking behaviour [14, 15].  This last association exemplifies the problem of the lines being blurred between commercial advertising messages and user generated content on social media sites [14, 15].

The full fact sheet can be downloaded and read here

Testing content restrictions in self-regulation codes In 2010, the five NGOs participating in the AMMIE project selected 84 alcohol marketing practices that appeared to be in violation of existing national rules for self-regulation. We filed complaints against these practices at the national Alcohol Advertising Committees, who are to decide whether these complaints are to be upheld (or not).

The NGOs proceeded to ask five Youth Rating Panels from the participating countries to give their opinions on a selection of the complaints. In Denmark, 40 youngsters participated, in Germany 30, and in the Netherlands 37. In Italy, 57 young people were included in the first round, whereas the last group consisted of only 22 young people. In Bulgaria, 29 people took part in the first round, and in the fourth round 21 youngsters took part. Altogether, 199 young people between 12-18 years of age participated in one or more rounds. Their answers were compared to the decisions of the Advertising Code Committees.

The full fact sheet can be downloaded and read here

super strong “World's strongest' beer with 32% strength launched”, was read by visitors of the BBC News website in 2009 ("Strongest Beer," 2009). A year later, they would read that the same Scottish brewery had once again claimed the title of the ‘world’s strongest beer’ with the release of a new beer having an astounding 41% alcohol content ("Bismarck," 2010).

Proceeding both news reports in 2009 and 2010, British health NGOs reacted critically, calling the product an example of irresponsible brewing and marketing ("Bismarck," 2010; Strongest Beer," 2009). It would appear that there is just cause for such reactions: in 2010 British research by a charity organization for homeless people suggested that alcohol with high levels of alcohol content kills more homeless people than crack or heroin (Doward, 2010). Two years later, ratebeer.com advertised the top 50 strongest beers in the world, ranging from 18.2% to 57.7% alcohol content by listing them on their website ("50 Strongest," 2012).

It seems that brewers internationally are in a race to create the strongest beverage and because of this several important questions must be addressed. First, is this about a trend in catering to consumers or is this an irresponsible marketing ploy to garner attention for the breweries with the highest percentage of alcohol in their beverage? Secondly, are these super-strong beers novelty items for highend beer collectors or are they simply intended to provide a high amount of alcohol to consumers at an inexpensive price? And finally, is beer with high levels of alcohol content available and prevalent throughout Europe?

Because there are few, if any, scientific studies to answer these questions, EUCAM took on the responsibility of producing the first explorative and non-representative overview of strong beers in Europe.

The full report can be downloaded and read here