Survey data of over nine thousand students in Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Poland shows that a higher exposure to online alcohol marketing increases the odds of binge drinking in the last 30 days. The research, a cross-sectional cross-country analysis was conducted under the flag of the AMPHORA project and calls the association between online marketing exposure and adolescents’ binge drinking ‘robust’.


Because of a growing need for evidence-based knowledge on the interactions between online alcohol advertising and adolescent consumption in Europe researcher Avalon de Bruijn set out to question students from Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Poland using a stratified sample of schools in urban and rural areas. This resulted in survey data from 9032 students, with a mean age of 14.05 and of which 50% were male.

Data was collected through self-administered online questionnaires, which were anonymous.

The study gives some ‘take home messages:
1. European youngsters from various countries are highly aware of alcohol marketing on the internet.
2. European youngsters report high exposure to online alcohol marketing.
3. These cross-sectional findings indicate that higher exposure to online alcohol marketing is associated with higher odds of being a binge drinker.
4. The findings indicate a dose-response effect: the association with binge drinking becomes stronger with high levels of exposure to online alcohol marketing. This effect seems robust and consistent in various national contexts.
5. Results of the analysis give reason to support a ban on online alcohol marketing to protect youngsters from the harmful effects of exposure to commercial communications, and more specifically online alcohol marketing.

As the research is part of the AMPHORA Research Project, it was published as a chapter of the E-book ‘Alcohol Policy in Europe: Evidence from AMPHORA,’ which was published yesterday. The report can be downloaded here on the AMPHORA website, the study on the effects of online marketing can be found on page 56.

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