According to advertising industry standards, ads that appear in a medium primarily targeted at youth violate industry rules if they “highlight the high alcohol content of a product, or portray drinking in conjunction with activities that require a high degree of alertness or coordination.”
Researchers from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland studied over 1,200 advertisements for all types of alcoholic beverages (alcopops, beer, spirits, and wine) in 11 different magazines popular with teens. They found over 2,500 alcoholic advertisements in these magazines.
The researchers studied the advertisements and rated them based on the following factors: sex-related content, portrayal of over-consumption, addiction content, and injury content. One-fifth of the advertisements “contained sexual connotations or sexual objectification.” Study co-author David Jernigan, PhD. said “self-regulated voluntary codes are failing” in terms of the alcohol industry’s advertising standards.
Jernigan believes that the more young people are exposed to alcohol-related marketing, they are more likely to drink: “This report should serve as a wake-up call to parents and everyone else concerned about the health of young people.”
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