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  Alcohol Advertising and Youth

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  • Research reports show that exposure to alcohol advertising shapes young adolescents’ attitudes toward alcohol, their intentions to drink, and underage drinking behavior.1
  • Alcohol advertising appeared during all 15 of the top teen television shows in 2002. Alcohol advertisers spent 60% more to advertise on these shows in 2002, including Survivor, Fear Factor, and That ‘70s Show, than in 2001.2
  • Alcohol advertisers spent $990 million (22% more) for TV ads in 2002 and placed 39% more alcohol ads on TV than in 2001.3
  • Twenty-two percent of the alcohol ads aired on TV in 2002 were more likely to be seen by youth 12-20 years of age than adults. These 66,218 ads were also more likely to be seen by youth ages 12-20 than by young adults ages 21-34.4
  • According to a 1998 advertising agency study, youths six to 17 years of age identified Budweiser’s cartoon ads as their favorite, more popular than any ads for Pepsi, Barbie, Snickers, or Nike.5
  • A 1996 survey of children ages nine to 11 found that children were more familiar with Budweiser’s television frogs than with Kellogg’s Tony the Tiger, the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers, or Smokey Bear.6
  • American young people heard more radio advertising for beer and distilled spirits than did people of legal drinking age in 2001 and 2002.7
  • Magazine ads for alcoholic beverages reached more youth 12 – 20 years of age than adult readers in 2001.8
  • High intensity point-of-sale advertising is common in convenience stores and combination gas station/convenience markets where 75% of teenagers shop weekly. Alcohol marketing at the point of sale (interior and exterior signage, floor displays and alcohol-branded functional objects such as counter change mats with an alcohol company logo) often includes low height alcohol ads that are in the sight line of children and adolescents as opposed to adults.9

1 S.E. Martin et al., "Alcohol Advertising and Youth," Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research 26 (2002): 900-906.

2 Loc. cit.

3 Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth, Youth Exposure to Alcohol Ads On TV 2002, April 30, 2004

4 Loc. cit.

5 Campbell Mithun Esty advertising agency. National Study Reveals Kids Favorite TV Ads. Yahoo PR Newswire. Online. Mar 24, 1998.

6 Leiber, L. Commercial and Character Slogan Recall by Children Aged Nine to 11 Years. Berkeley, CA: Center on Alcohol Advertising, 1996.

7T Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth, Radio daze: alcohol ads tune in underage youth. April 2003.

8 Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth, Overexposed: youth a target of alcohol advertising in magazines. September 2002. Craig F., Garfield, C., Chung, P., and Rathouz, P. Alcohol advertising in magazines and adolescent readership. JAMA;289:2424-2429, 2003

9 Terry-McElrath, Y.M., Harwood, E.M., Wagenaar A.C., Slater, S., Chaloupka, F.J., Brewer, R.D., and Naimi, T.S. Point-of-Purchase Alcohol Marketing and Promotion by Store Type - United States, 2000—2001, MMWR 52(14):310-313 April 11, 2003.