Although many factors (including parents, friends and the media) influence an underage person’s drinking decisions, research continues to show that advertising and marketing also play a huge part.
Evidence from long-term studies have specifically revealed that greater exposure to alcohol advertising contributes to an increase in drinking amongst underage children. For each individual advert that a young person saw (above the monthly youth average of 23), he or she was found to drink 1% more.
Another study found that those who viewed more television programmes containing alcohol commercials while they were in year 7, were more likely to drink once they reached year 8. Exposure to in-store displays, magazine advertising and concessions at sports or music events were also proven to increase the likelihood and frequency of underage drinking.
Researchers have also found that it’s not just advertising that can affect drinking decisions, it appears as though any exposure on television has an impact on youngsters. In the USA, a large sample of students aged between 10 and 14 were studied for up to a total of 36 months. The results found that those with higher exposure to alcohol use in films at the initial assessment were more likely to have started drinking at the time of their follow-up assessment.
One of the reasons why advertising is thought to have such as impact on behaviour is because children stated that if they like a particular advert, they are more likely to have positive expectancies about alcohol use.
If you think that you or someone you know could have a problem with alcohol, please feel free to visit our Alcohol Addiction Treatment and Rehabilitation page for more information about the signs, symptoms and treatments that are available. You can also contact us today for help.