EUCAM - European Centre for Monitoring Alcohol Marketing

BMA report: Under the influence - the damaging effect of alcohol marketing on young people

9 September 2009

BMA report: Under the influence - the damaging effect of alcohol marketing on young people 07-09-2009
Source: British Medical Association

Alcohol consumption in the UK has increased rapidly in recent years, not just among young people, but across society. The population is drinking in increasingly harmful ways and the result is a range of avoidable medical, psychological and social harm, damaged lives and early deaths. As consumption has increased, the market for alcohol has grown substantially. This has been driven by vast promotional and marketing campaigns with the UK alcohol industry spending approximately £800m annually.

Alcohol marketing communications have a powerful effect on young people and come in many forms. These include traditional advertisements on television through ubiquitous ambient advertising to new media such as social network sites and viral campaigns. The cumulative effect of this promotion is to reinforce and exaggerate strong pro-alcohol social norms. Beyond marketing communications companies use integrated consumer marketing strategies including pricing, distribution and product design to develop and manage brands. Stakeholder marketing, including partnership working and industry-funded health education, is also used by the alcohol industry as a means to influence policy makers and regulators.

This report examines the damaging effect of alcohol marketing on young people. It aims to identify effective ways of protecting young people from the influence of alcohol promotion and marketing, thereby redressing the excessively pro-alcohol social norms to which they are exposed.

undertheinfluence.pdfundertheinfluence.pdf (1,02 MB)

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