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

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

The impact of alcohol marketing exposure on the drinking behaviour of young people This Fact Sheet examines both long term and short term effects of exposure to alcohol marketing on the drinking behavior of youngsters.

The effects of alcohol advertising and marketing on drinking behavior of young people has been more and more extensively studied over the past few years. Evidence has grown stronger that especially exposure to large volumes of alcohol advertising has an undesirable impact on the drinking behavior of youngsters. These effects of alcohol advertising on drinking behavior have been found on the long term (longitudinal studies) as well as on the short term (experimental studies). Both types of research (findings) will be discussed in this fact sheet. The fact sheet concludes that taken together, both longitudinal studies as well as experimental studies indicate that exposure to the amount of alcohol advertising and promotion affects youth drinking behavior. This conclusion is supported by several empirical- and review studies, published in peer reviewed journals and by the Science Group of the Alcohol and Health Forum of the European Commission (2009). These effects show the need to limit the volume (and content) of alcohol marketing through comprehensive legislation.

The full fact sheet can be downloaded and read here

Legal possibilities of a comprehensive alcohol advertising ban in Europe Econometric studies by Saffer and colleagues suggest that overall bans of alcohol marketing can be successful in decreasing the total alcohol consumption among adolescents. In accordance with this, in its European Action Plan (2011) the WHO recommends a total ban on alcohol advertising in Europe. The new factsheet describes the competence of the European Union to adopt a pan-European alcohol advertising ban and its legal possibilities.

The Fact Sheet concludes that a European ban is realistically achievable. Restricting the volume of alcohol advertising is one aspect of a comprehensive evidence-based alcohol policy to combat alcohol-related harm. Extensive alcohol advertising restrictions are already in place in some European countries (e.g. France, Norway and Sweden). A pan-European alcohol advertising ban is the next step in limiting the large volume of alcohol advertising in Europe, and is recommended by the World Health Organization. Existing European restrictions on advertising tobacco, gambling, and prescriptive drugs show that the EU is competent to protect its citizens by adopting extensive advertising bans. Such a ban, even when considered to be trade-distorting, can be justified on health grounds when the policy instrument proposed is seen as “proportionate” and “appropriate”. Alternatively, justification for an extensive advertising ban on economic grounds was given when an EU ban on tobacco advertising was introduced. By harmonizing volume restrictions of advertising on the internal market, distortions of tobacco advertising competition are aimed to be avoided. A similar approach can be taken by legislators who want to regulate alcohol adverting. Both the audio and the Powerpoint presentation of a short lecture on this topic by Wim van Dalen of STAP, the Dutch Institute for Alcohol Policy, are available on the website of EUROCARE.

The full fact sheet can be downloaded and read here