Journal: Clinical Medicine, Journal of the Royal College of Physicians, 2009, 9 (2), 121-124.
Auther: Dr. Peter Anderson
Objective: The study examines the effect of alcohol advertising on the drinking behaviour of young people and the possibility and likelihood of a ban on alcohol advertisement in the European Union, by reviewing thirteen studies.
Design: Literature study
Participants: Thirteen studies are reviewed. The studies vary from longitudinal studies where the drinking behaviour of youngsters is examined to studies about the differences between governments when it comes to restrictions on alcohol advertisement.
Methods: Systematic review of thirteen studies. Selection of the studies is unknown.
Findings: The studies show that there is a need for a ban on alcohol marketing by giving nine arguments. (1) Tobacco advertisement is banned already, while there is a greater health risk associated with alcohol as there is with tobacco. (2) The brain overvalues alcohol because of false calculations made in the brain’s reward circuit, which leads to more alcohol use. (3 & 4) Alcohol advertisement leads to a more positive vision on alcohol and to a increase of alcohol consumption. (5, 6, 7 & 8) As there are many differences between European countries when it comes to alcohol advertising laws and alcohol advertising usually does cross over to other countries, general European regulations are required. These regulations are especially urgent because self-regulation systems don’t work. Moreover, three quarters of the European population would support more strict regulations. When is comes to alcohol advertisement the European court of Justice inclines to ratify stricter laws. (9) A ban on advertisement would be quite cost-effective.
Conclusion Authors: A ban on alcohol advertisement is desirable. Because young people are more influenceable to alcohol advertisements and they are more vulnerable to the health risks of alcohol, especially youngsters should be protected against the influences of alcohol marketing. Furthermore do the European Union and the European citizens support stricter and more uniform regulations, while it is argued that the diversity of laws and self-regulation don’t work sufficiently.