Authors: Jernigan, Noel, Landon, Thornton & Lobstein Title: Alcohol marketing and youth alcohol consumption: a systematic review of longitudinal studies published since 2008 Journal: Addiction, 2016, 10.1111/add.13591OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Abstract: Background and aims: Youth alcohol consumption is a major global public health concern. Previous reviews have concluded that exposure to alcohol marketing was associated with earlier drinking initiation and higher alcohol consumption among youth. This review examined longitudinal studies published since those earlier reviews. Methods: Peer-reviewed articles were identified in medical, scientific and social science databases, supplemented by examination of reference lists. Non-peer-reviewed papers were included if they were published by organisations deemed to be authoritative, were fully referenced and contained primary data not available elsewhere. Papers were restricted to those that included measures of marketing exposure and alcohol consumption for at least 500 underage persons. Multiple authors reviewed studies for inclusion and assessed their quality using the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute's Quality Assessment Tool for Observation Cohort and Cross-Sectional Studies. Results: Twelve studies (ranging in duration from nine months to eight years), following nine unique cohorts not previously reported on involving 35,129 participants from Europe, Asia and North America, met inclusion criteria. All 12 found evidence of a positive association between level of marketing exposure and level of youth alcohol consumption. Some found significant associations between youth exposure to alcohol marketing and initiation of alcohol use (odds ratios ranging from 1.00 to 1.69), there were clear associations between exposure and subsequent binge or hazardous drinking (odds ratios ranging from 1.38 to 2.15). Mediators included marketing receptivity, brand recognition, and alcohol expectancies. Levels of marketing exposure among younger adolescents were similar to those found among older adolescents and young adults. Conclusions: Young people who have greater exposure to alcohol marketing appear to be more likely subsequently to initiate alcohol use and engage in binge and hazardous drinking. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. The article can be downloaded via this link in the Wiley Online Library.

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

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

impact of alcohol advertising in the cinema While there has been a multitude of research on the various ways and media of alcohol marketing and their effects on young people, research on alcohol marketing in the cinema has only recently taken off. This fact sheet covers the prevalence, range and effects of alcohol marketing in the cinema as proven in recent studies in the Netherlands and the UK.

The impact of alcohol advertisement in cinemas should not be neglected. As a medium for alcohol advertising, cinemas should be taken into account in the discussion of restricting or banning alcohol marketing. The full fact sheet can be downloaded and read here

Why are young people in particular vulnerable to alcohol advertising and promotion Alcohol use among children and adolescents is of particular concern to policy makers, since these youngsters are facing disproportional physical and social alcohol related harm (Boelema et al 2009). There is increasing evidence that exposure to media and alcohol marketing is associated with the likelihood that adolescents will start to drink alcohol, and with increased drinking amongst those who already drink alcohol (Anderson et al 2009). This association is not found for the population as a whole.

This fact sheet describes reasons, found in the literature, why adolescents are in particular vulnerable to exposure to the influence of alcohol advertising and promotion.

The full fact sheet can be downloaded and read here