Ingeborg Rossow, Drug Alcohol Rev. 2021 Nov. 40 (7) 1302-1395 rug Alcohol Rev


Introduction: Although bans or restrictions on alcohol advertising are recommended as one of the three most effective and cost-effective policies to curb alcohol consumption, the best evidence to support this is indirect. The aim of this study was to examine whether the complete ban on alcohol advertising in Norway in 1975 had any effect on total alcohol sales.

Methods: Annual time series of recorded alcohol sales (1960-2006) were analysed. Autoregressive integrated moving average interrupted time series techniques were used to model the effect of the advertising ban, adjusting for alcohol prices and wages.

Results: The autoregressive integrated moving average analyses showed a negative and statistically significant effect of the ban on total recorded alcohol sales, suggesting an immediate and lasting reduction of 7.4% (P = 0.002).

Discussion and conclusions: The complete ban on alcohol advertising in 1975 in Norway reduced recorded alcohol sales. This suggests that the ban had a protective effect by reducing total alcohol consumption. The conclusion remains tentative because of possible effects of unrecorded alcohol consumption and marketing on social media and satellite TV channels.

Keywords: advertising ban; alcohol; time series analysis; total consumption.

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