meisje-tv-gr_1_2New research by the University of Western Australia reveals that half of the televised alcohol commercials in Australia may be broadcasted during viewing times that are popular among children. A content analysis of 2810 alcohol commercials showed that the most common used themes were humor, friendship and value for money.

Over a period of two months the researchers of the University of Western Australia (UWA), the University of Adelaide and the Cancer Council analyzed the commercials that were aired in five major Australian cities. They found that one out of ten beverage commercials was an alcohol commercial. And half of these were broadcasted at times when the percentage of children viewing television was greater than 25% of the total possible child audience. Interestingly, this Children’s popular viewing times (CPVT) accounts for only 39% of possible viewing hours. Also, alarmingly these figures are found despite the Australian Government’s Children’s Television Standards which bans alcohol advertising during dedicated children’s program times.

The study, which is to be published in the scientific journal Drug and Alcohol Review, demonstrates that current advertising practices are likely to be influencing children. It also shows that the co-regulatory Alcohol and Beverages Advertising Code is not effective in protecting children from exposure to alcohol marketing.

Findings from the content analysis of the commercials shows that the ads are likely to encourage young people to view alcohol as an inexpensive product closely associated with fun, friendship and physical activity, and best bought in bulk.

Lead researcher and UWA Health Promotion director Professor Simone Pettigrew told “Our study shows the emphasis in many of the analyzed advertisements on value-for-money and buying in bulk may contravene the spirit—if not the letter—of the code.”

Source: 05/21/12

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