Advertising and Alcohol
Despite extensive research, the association between advertising and youth alcohol consumption until recently was found to be weak, if any at all. However, a groundbreaking longitudinal survey of the influence of alcohol advertising on youth shows that greater exposure to alcohol advertising does indeed contribute to an increase in drinking among underage youth. Exposure to one more advertisement than the average for underage youth was correlated with a 1% increase in drinking, and a 3% increase correlated with every additional dollar spent per capita on alcohol advertising.
Additionally, a time-series study of advertising bans in 20 countries over 26 years suggests that countries with advertising bans have lower levels of alcohol consumption and lower levels of motor vehicle fatalities. In another study, Saffer also found that a complete ban on alcohol advertising could ‘‘reduce monthly drinking by adolescents by roughly 24%, and monthly binge drinking by 42%’’ . Research has also found a significant association between ‘naturalistic exposure’ to alcohol advertising and the consumption of alcohol among a sample of American teenagers controlling for a range of variables and excluding reverse causation.