Alcohol ads seen by youth on TV on the rise


A comprehensive review of television advertising practices by alcohol companies from 2001-2007 finds an increase in youth exposure to alcohol advertising and relatively few industry- sponsored "responsibility" ads. The new study, released by the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth (CAMY) at Georgetown University, evaluated advertising trends and identified the best and worst brands with regard to youth exposure to alcohol. This report shows that more than 40% of youth exposure to alcohol advertising came from ads placed on programming with a disproportionate youth (ages 12 to 20) audience — the highest percentage since CAMY began monitoring youth exposure in 2001.

The report data show the 30% threshold established by alcohol trade associations in 2003 has not reduced youth exposure to alcohol advertising on television, nor has it reduced the youth overexposure that occurs when ads are on programs with disproportionate youth audiences.

"The sad reality for kids and parents is that the alcohol industry’s 30% standard is working on broadcast but not cable television," said CAMY executive director David Jernigan. "From 2001 to 2007, the number of alcohol advertisements seen in a year by the average television-watching 12-to-20 year-old has increased which is the opposite of its purpose."

CAMY’s data shows advertisers have made some progress with regard to advertising during shows where more than 30% of the viewers were under age 21. The percentage of alcohol product ads on these programs went from 11% in 2003 to 6.3% in 2007.

  The study’s other key findings include:

  — Almost all youth overexposure to alcohol advertising occurs on cable.
     Almost two-thirds (63%) of the overexposing alcohol ad
     placements in 2007 were on cable television, which generated 95%
     of youth overexposure to alcohol advertising on television.  Of the
     youth overexposure on cable in 2007, 53% came from beer
     advertising, and 41% from distilled spirits advertising.

  — In 2006 and 2007, there were no alcohol industry-funded
     "responsibility"  messages about underage drinking on television.  Over
     the entire period of 2001 – 2007, youth ages 12 to 20 were 22 times
     more likely to see an alcohol product advertisement than an alcohol
     industry-funded "responsibility" advertisement about drinking-driving,
     safety or underage drinking.

  — Eleven specific brands are responsible for 48.5% of the youth
     exposure to advertising.  For this report, researchers developed a
     methodology to determine the best and worst performers with regard to
     youth exposure to alcohol advertising.  Among brands responsible for
     the much of youth exposure to alcohol advertising and exceeding the 30%
     youth threshold are:

     — Miller Lite
     — Corona Extra Beer
     — Coors Light
     — Hennessy Cognacs
     — Guinness Beers
     — Samuel Adams Beers
     — Bud Light
     — Smirnoff Vodkdas
     — Disaronno Originale Amaretto
     — Miller Chill
     — Multiple Brands from Mike’s Beverages.