Author: Gary B. Wilcox, Eun Yeon Kang & Lindsay A. Chilek
Title: Beer, wine, or spirits? Advertising’s impact on four decades of category sales
Journal: International Journal of Advertising: The Review of Marketing Communications, Published online: 17 Mar 2015.

This article provides an analysis of the relationship between annual advertising expenditures and sales, using a time series regression procedure, for beer, wine, and liquor sold in the United States from 1971 to 2012. Information from these four decades provides a comprehensive analysis of the relationships of numerous variables with aggregate alcohol category sales. Even though per capita alcohol consumption has not changed much throughout this period, alcohol advertising media expenditures for all alcohol beverages have increased almost 400% since 1971. This study has provided evidence of consumption changes across categories of alcohol beverages over the past 40-plus years with the preponderance of those changes significantly correlated to fluctuations in demography, taxation and income levels – not advertising. Despite other macro-level studies with consistent findings, the perception that advertising increases consumption exists. The findings here indicate that there is either no relationship or a weak one between advertising and aggregate category sales. Therefore, advertising restrictions or bans with the purpose of reducing consumption may not have the desired effect. Implications on policy decisions regarding advertising controls are addressed.

EUCAM commentary following shortly.

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