22 October 2021 by Maik Dünnbier. From Movendi.

1. Alcohol marketing causes harm to children and youth

Early onset of alcohol use, higher amounts of alcohol consumption, more high-risk ways of consuming alcohol, shaping positive attitudes, expectancies, and judgements towards alcohol, and determining brand allegiance and loyalty for an entire life – these are the harmful effects of alcohol marketing on children, adolescents, and youth.

How alcohol marketing causes harm to children, adolescents, and youth

Science is very clear that alcohol use in young people, especially early onset among minors, increases the risk of impeding brain development, developing alcohol use problems later in life, unwanted pregnancies, contracting transmissible diseases, being injured or even killed through violence and road traffic crashes.

Why Big Alcohol targets kids with marketing

The alcohol industry needs under-age alcohol use for a significant part of their profits. They also need to market their brands and products to children and youth to maintain and increase alcohol use of young “loyal” consumers, as they enter adult life.

study of youth aged 15–26 years in the U.S. found that young people consumed 1% more alcohol for each additional ad seen per month. They consumed 3% more alcohol with each additional dollar spent per capita on alcohol ads in their media market. Youth in markets with more alcohol advertisements showed increased consumption levels into their late 20s. But alcohol use plateaued in the early 20s for youth in markets with fewer advertisements.

2. Alcohol marketing saturates society with alcohol, perpetuates the harmful alcohol norm

 Alcoholic beverages were the eighth most profitable sector of 94 global industries. That means Big Alcohol is only slightly less profitable than Big Tobacco (number 3) but much more profitable than the soft drinks industry.

This market and financial power of the alcohol industry translates directly into marketing spending. And in turn marketing spending fuels the ability of alcohol industry giants to dominate the market, and to exert immense political power. A vicious cycle that inundates our societies with alcohol, that perpetuates harmful alcohol norms, and that stifles alcohol policy development.

3. Alcohol marketing prevents evidence-based alcohol industry regulation

The alcohol marketing landscape is increasingly dominated by just a few global alcohol producers. This domination allows alcohol giants to extract significant profits. In turn, this is then used to protect and increase market domination. Marketing spending plays a fundamental role in this Big Alcohol strategy because it helps erecting high barriers to entry for new firms. 

The most common regulatory response has been alcohol industry self-regulation; statutory public health responses have made little progress in recent years and have lagged behind alcohol industry innovation in digital and social marketing. In fact, a recent The Lancet study showed that alcohol advertising regulation was among the least implemented public health policies in 2020.

The one effective solution

The global nature of alcohol marketing, and the ease with which it transcends national borders, are serious reasons to prioritize national, regional, and even global action to develop comprehensive, statutory regulations restricting or banning alcohol advertising, sponsorship, and promotion to protect people and vulnerable groups

The solution to protect people from commercial pressure to start consuming and to consume more and more alcohol has large support among the public. Therefore, it is important that policy makers break the cycle of heavy alcohol marketing, pervasive alcohol environments, and policy inaction. It’s time to hear the people and to put the public interest first.


To read the full article, click on the following link: https://movendi.ngo/blog/2021/10/22/three-ways-alcohol-marketing-causes-harm-and-one-effective-solution/.


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