| Fact Sheet
Alcohol Advertising And Youth
Did you know?
- By the time teenagers reach driving age
they will have seen 75,000 ads for alcohol
(CQ Researcher, 1992).
- Results from one study indicate that beer
advertisements are a significant predictor
of an adolescent's knowledge, preference,
and loyalty for beer brands, as well as
current drinking behavior and intentions
to drink (Gentile, 2001).
- Television advertising changes attitudes
about drinking. Young people report more
positive feelings about drinking and their
own likelihood to drink after viewing alcohol
ads (Austin, 1994; Grube, 1994).
- Fifty-six percent of students in grades
5 through 12 say that alcohol advertising
encourages them to drink (American Academy
of Pediatrics, 2001).
- American children view 2,000 beer and
wine commercials per year (American Academy
of Pediatrics, 1995).
- The alcohol industry spends $2 billion
per year on all media advertising (Strasburger,
- The beer brewing industry itself spent
more than $770 million on television ads
and $15 million on radio ads in 2000 (Center
for Science in the Public Interest, 2002).
Alcohol Advertising on Television
- 10 million people ages 12 to 20 reported
drinking alcohol in the month prior to a
survey by the Substance Abuse and Mental
Health Services Administration. Of this
number almost 7 million were binge drinkers
and another 2 million, heavy drinkers (National
Household Survey on Drug Abuse, 2001).
- The average age of first alcohol use is
13.1 (American Academy of Pediatrics, 2001).
- In 1999, 52% of 8th graders and 80% of
high school seniors reported using alcohol,
with 31% of 12th graders reporting heavy
drinking (5 or more drinks in a row at least
once during the previous 2 weeks (American
Academy of Pediatrics, 2001).
- Youth who start drinking before the age
of 15 are four times more likely to develop
alcoholism at some point in their lives,
than those who begin drinking at 21 (National
Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism,
- Between 2000 and 2001 daily alcohol use
among high school seniors increased 25%,
from 2.9 percent to 3.6 percent (Monitoring
the Future Study, 2001).
- According to the American Medical Association
- Is a factor in nearly half of all
teen automobile crashes - a leading
cause of death.
- Contributes to youth suicides, fatal
injuries and homicides - the next three
leading causes of death after auto accidents.
- Linked to two-thirds of all sexual
assaults and date rapes of teens and
- Is a major factor in unprotected sex
among adolescents. (American Medical
Members of the Distilled Spirits Council
of the U.S. had been following a voluntary
ban on hard liquor advertising on radio since
1936 and television since 1948. The ban was
broken in 1996. Since then expenditures for
alcohol advertising have increased dramatically,
even though liquor commercials were mainly
found only on cable channels. However, in
the winter of 2002 the first major network,
NBC, indicated that it would start accepting
hard liquor advertisements on shows airing
after 9 P.M.. In a poll conducted by the Center
for Science in the Public Interest (2001,
December) 68% of the respondents opposed NBC's
change of policy and 70% agreed that it was
dangerous to have liquor ads on television
because young people will be exposed to liquor.
Heeding public pressure, NBC cancelled its
plans in March, 2002.
The Federal Trade Commission (1999) reported
- Alcohol companies placed their product
in 233 motion pictures and in one or more
episodes of 181 different television series
in 1997-98. In the fifteen shows most popular
with teens, eight had alcohol product placements.
- Alcohol placement has also occurred in
PG and PG 13 movies where the primary audience
included a sizable number of teens and children.
- Alcoholic beverage companies have created
over a hundred internet web sites to advertise
and promote their products. Many of these
sites have a strong appeal to youth and
can include interactive games and contests.
- Other forms of promotion include sponsorships
of musical and sporting events, displays
at retail outlets, branded t-shirts, hats,
- American Academy of Pediatrics (1995,
February). Policy statement: Children, adolescents,
and advertising. Pediatrics, 95,2,295-297.
- American Academy of Pediatrics (2001,
July). Alcohol use and abuse: A pediatric
concern. Pediatrics, v108, p185.
- American Medical Association (2001, November
9). Research and facts about youth and alcohol.
(last visited 1/29/02).
- Austin, EW, Meili, HK. (1994, Fall). Effects
of interpretations of televised alcohol
portrayals on children's alcohol beliefs.
Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic
Media, 38, 417-435.
- Center For Science in the Public Interest
(2002, January). Stop liquor ads on TV:
talking points. [Online] http://www.cspinet.org/booze/liquorads/liquor_talkingpoints.htm:
(last visited 1/18/02).
- Ibid. (2001, December 20). News release:
National poll shows strong opposition to
liquor ads on network television. NBC out
of step with the public. [Online] http://www.cspinet.org/new/oppose_liquorads.html:
(last visited 1/18/02).
- CQ Researcher (1992, March 13).
- Federal Trade Commission (1999, September
9). Self-regulation in the alcohol industry:
A review of industry efforts to avoid promoting
alcohol to underage consumers. [Online]
(last visited 1/16/02).
- Gentile, D., Walsh, D., Bloomgren, Jr.,
B., Atti, J., Norman, J., (2001, April).
Frogs sell beer: The effects of beer advertisements
on adolescent drinking knowledge, attitudes
and behavior. National Institute on Media
and the Family paper presented at the Biennial
Conference of the Society for Research in
- Grube, J, Wallack, L (1994, February).
Television beer advertising and drinking
knowledge, beliefs, and intentions among
school-children. The American Journal
of Public Health, 24, 254-259.
- Monitoring the Future Study (2001). National
Institute on Drug Abuse: High school and
youth trends. [Online] http://www.nida.nih.gov/Infofax/HSYouthtrends.html:
(last visited 1/22/02).
- National Household Survey on Drug Abuse
(2001, December 14). Alcohol use. Substance
Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
(last visited 1/22/02).
- National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and
Alcoholism (1998, January 14). News advisory:
Age of drinking predicts future alcohol
abuse and dependence. [Online] http://www.niaaa.nih.gov/press/1998/aging.htm:
(last visited: 1/29/02).
- Strasburger, Victor C, Donnerstein, Edward
(1999, January). Children, adolescents,
and the media: Issues and solutions. Pediatrics,
Last revised 7/17/02