EUCAM - European Centre for Monitoring Alcohol Marketing

Experiment finds direct effect of alcohol advertising on alcohol consumption

21 January 2009

Experiment finds direct effect of alcohol advertising on alcohol consumption An experiment conducted by the Radbout University Nijmegen finds evidence of a direct effect of alcohol advertising and alcohol portrayal in movies on drinking behaviour of male adolescents.

Male adolescents that were assigned to the conditions with substantial alcohol exposure in either movies or commercials consume more alcohol than other participants. Those in the condition with alcohol portrayal in movie and commercials drank on average 1,5 glasses more than those in the condition with no alcohol portrayal, within a period of 1 hour. The study by Rutger Engels and colleagues will be published in Alcohol & Alcoholism in May this year.

There is already an increasing body of evidence that shows a long term causal relationship between exposure to alcohol advertising and alcohol consumption. A systematic review of thirteen longitudinal studies was published online in Alcohol & Alcoholism (Anderson et al, 2009). The review shows that the examined longitudinal studies consistently suggest that exposure to media and alcohol marketing is associated with the likelihood that adolescents will start to drink alcohol, and with increased drinking amongst established drinkers (Anderson et al, 2008). The study by Engels and colleagues is, however, the first study that examines the direct effect of alcohol marketing on adolescents.

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