New EU study finds definitive link between alcohol ads & adolescent drinking

alcohol television

August 22, 2016

A new report
by the Society for the Study of Addiction supports a link between alcohol adverstising and adolescent drinking. The European study, published in August by the scientific journal Addiction finds that exposure to several different types of alcohol marketing is linked with the amount and frequency of drinking among adolescents across Europe.

The study included more than 9,000 adolescents in Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and Poland where the average age of those questioned was 14 years. The students reported their drinking frequency and binge drinking as well as their exposure to a wide range of alcohol marketing, including television ads; online marketing; sponsorship of sports, music events, or festivals; ownership of alcohol branded promotional items; receipt of free samples; and exposure to price offers.

The data showed exposure to alcohol marketing of all kinds was positively associated with adolescents’ alcohol use over time. These findings support new regulations by the EU's regulatory agency, the Audio Media Visual Services Directive (AMVSD).

The report's lead author, Avalon de Bruijn, of the European Centre for Monitoring Alcohol Marketing (EUCAM), says “Europe is the world’s heaviest drinking region, and youth drinking is particularly problematic. Our study highlights the need to restrict the volume of alcohol marketing to which young people are exposed in everyday life. It’s no longer just a matter of restricting television ads; policymakers need to examine the alcohol industry’s total marketing scheme and develop regulations that will reduce all types of alcohol marketing.”

Read the full report.