Addiction, 2021, February;
Aims: To estimate the volume of past-year televised alcohol advertising exposure by product category and demographic group among adults living in the United States and test associations between estimated alcohol advertising exposure and past 30-day drinking behavior.
Design: Secondary analysis of data from two national-level US data sets: Kantar data on appearances of televised alcohol advertisements and data from the Simmons National Consumer Survey (NCS), a large national mail survey on television viewing patterns and consumer behavior.
Setting: United States.
Participants: A total of 54 671 adults, aged 21 years and older, who were randomly selected to participate in the Simmons NCS.
Measurements: Estimated exposure to televised advertisements for beer, wine and spirits, self-reported alcohol use in the past year and number of drinks consumed in the past 30 days.
Findings: The average respondent was exposed to an estimated 576 [95% confidence interval (CI) = 570-582] televised alcohol advertisements in the year preceding their survey. Exposure was higher among males versus females and African Americans versus whites. A 1% increase in the estimated volume of advertisement exposure was associated with a 0.11 (95% CI = 0.08-0.13) percentage point increase in the odds of having at least one drink in the last 30 days and, among past 30-day drinkers, a 0.05 (95% CI = 0.04-0.07) per cent increase in the number of alcoholic drinks consumed. Associations were consistent across product categories and demographics.
Conclusions: There appears to be a small but consistent positive association between alcohol advertising exposure and drinking behavior among American adults.
Keywords: Advertising; alcohol consumption; alcohol control; health communication; media effects; policy.