Drug and Alcohol review; april 2024; Antonia C. LyonsKate KerseyCarol EmslieAnnamae Burrows



Alcohol marketing on social media platforms is pervasive and effective, reaching wide audiences and allowing interaction with users. We know little about the gendered nature of digital alcohol marketing, including how women and men are portrayed, how different genders respond and implications for gender relations. This review aimed to identify how males, females and other genders are targeted and represented in digital alcohol marketing, and how they are encouraged to engage with digital alcohol marketing content.


A narrative synthesis approach was employed. Academic literature and research reports were searched for studies on digital alcohol marketing published within the previous 10 years with a range of methods and designs. We reviewed the studies, extracted data relevant to gender and synthesised findings thematically.

Key Findings

The review included 17 articles and 7 reports with a range of designs and methods, including content analyses of digital material, interviews, focus groups and surveys. Our analysis identified three conceptual themes that captured many of the gendered results, namely: (i) leveraging a diversity of idealised femininities; (ii) amplifying hegemonic masculinity; and (iii) infiltrating everyday gendered life.

Implications and Conclusion

Alcohol marketing on social media is highly gendered and is designed to embed itself into everyday life in agile ways that reinforce traditional and evolving gendered stereotypes, activities, lifestyles and roles. Gendered engagement strategies are widely used to link alcohol to everyday gendered activities and identities to encourage alcohol purchase and consumption. This marketing normalises alcohol consumption and reproduces harmful gender norms and stereotypes.

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