New Zealand Study Finds Alcohol Ads on Social Media 'Hard to Regulate'

facebookbeer newA recent New Zealand study found that social media extended young people's drinking habits. According to researcher Antonia Lyons, "Facebook was embedded in these people's drinking cultures. They used Facebook to gain information about drinking, places, people, products to organise when they go out, to share photos about drinking ... to interact while engaging in a drinking session. They use it to connect with alcohol brands and products and to receive alcohol promotions." The report found that alcohol advertising is so seamlessly blended into social media and smartphone technology that government will struggle to regulate it. According to the authors, the viral and peer-to-peer nature of such promotion makes New Zealand's codes about displaying excessive consumption of alcohol, or targeting minors in alcohol advertising, particularly difficult to enforce. To read the Alcohol Justice report on alcohol advertising and Facebook, click here.