No escape: How alcohol advertising preys on children and vulnerable people Alcohol Health Alliance

  • 3 years ago
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Social norms theory describes that behavior is based on people’s perceptions of how others behave and what they approve of, and similarly social learning theory suggests that behavior can be learned from observing others. Both theories would seem to suggest that seeing alcoholposts on social media leads to the perception that others are also doing it (i.e., descriptive norms) and approve of it (i.e., injunctive norms; Cialdini and Trost, 1999). Importantly, studies confirm that not only posting, but also seeing, alcoholposts can increase alcohol use (Geusens et al., 2019). In the UK we have a co- and self-regulatory system, where alcohol companies have a degree of control over how the industry is regulated.

Considering the fact that most of these influencers have many followers and earn a lot of money for a single advertised post, it seems hard to believe that they would advertise for these brands for free. If it is indeed the case that some of these influencers were paid to advertise for an alcohol brand, it is questionable that they advertise for alcohol-related products while not being transparent about this. Furthermore, as argued, it is highly likely that there are many minors being exposed to this branded content.

Our rulings are a transparent record of our policy on what is and isn’t acceptable in ads.

The Open University

A new ban on during sporting events in Ireland came into force this month, which some have compared to France’s Loi Evin. THanks so much for your commemnts, it would be great if this blog went viral! I hate it that the adverts and the glamorizing of drinking in movies and on TV just isn’t real and doesn’t show the true effects of drinking, it just shows that initial, pretty first moment. The truth is that alcohol is a deadly, toxic substance and wouldn’t be allowed to be on the market today if it was just discovered and I agree it is too much of a money maker.

This touches upon some practical implications, because for influencers it can be difficult how to communicate with their followers about branded content. A potential solution would be to stimulate (e.g., potentially reinforced by Instagram itself) every influencer who is being paid in one way or another for a post to disclose this clearly in that post. This is in line with new legislation in some countries (e.g., Germany; Knitter, 2019) in which it is obligatory for all influencers to disclose a post as advertising if they have received a form of compensation for it. Applying such legislation may be useful and clear in other countries as well, because if every influencer is required to behave in the same way, the potential loss of popularity is evenly divided among all influencers. These results lend some qualified support to the public health case for restrictions, bans, or other policies that would reduce exposure to alcohol advertising on visual broadcast media to reduce alcohol consumption.

This study is the first to illustrate how influencers communicate about alcohol on Instagram. Furthermore, although quite a few posts showed alcohol brands, only a couple of these posts disclosed this content as an advertisement, and even fewer gave an educational slogan. There is thus a lot to be concerned about in this context, especially since many minors can be exposed to such alcoholposts, potentially leading to increased drinking among this vulnerable age group. We therefore advice future researchers to further explore this issue, and suggest that adjustments in legislation for alcohol advertisements are necessary to effectively account for the context of social media. Although evidence exists of peers sharing alcohol-related content, it is not clear how often influencers who are popular among minors post about alcohol.

Social media marketing is particularly unregulated, because it is so new. This means it is a space where alcohol companies can take the opportunity to target advertising towards particular audiences. In a survey of year olds in England, 13% had engaged with alcohol marketing on social media. In 2019, the market value of alcoholic beverages is approximately 65 billion euros. With the UK government earning 11.6 billion pounds raised by taxes on alcohol in 2018.

alcohol advertising

Restricting alcohol marketing is suggested to be a cost-effective policy option to reduce alcohol consumption. There is debate as to whether alcohol marketing exposure leads to increased drinking. The fact that advertising is self regulated means that advertisers can and do ‘bend the rules’ in very subtle ways.

Ban alcohol advertising in public places in Scotland, report recommends

Furthermore, although on average these influencers posted three alcoholposts, there were some influencers who posted 15–16 alcoholposts. This massive exposure to influencers’ alcoholposts is very worrisome, especially because influencers are new kinds of celebrities that young people nowadays frequently aspire to become themselves . There is currently limited, low quality evidence on whether restrictions on eco sober house cost have an impact on alcohol consumption. Focusing only on this evidence could lead to poorly informed policy decisions based on a narrow understanding of how alcohol advertising influences alcohol use.

alcohol advertising

In France, the government’s ‘Loi Evin’, introduced in 1991, comprehensively restricts the content and placement of alcohol marketing. It includes a ban on television and cinema adverts, a ban on cultural events sponsorship, and limits the content to factual information only. However, even with this law, there are ways for the alcohol industry to circumvent the rules through ‘alibi marketing’.

Philadelphia already operates such a ban and in San Francisco is not permitted on public transport. A systems-level analysis would consider findings from multiple systematic reviews alongside the broader evidence base to understand how alcohol advertising fits into a complex web of interrelated factors (the ‘alcohol system’) contributing to alcohol consumption. This study looked at how increasing the price of non-alcoholic drinks could influence purchases of alcoholic drinks, such as beer, wine and cider, in supermarkets. The aim of the present study was to assess the impact of lower strength alcohol labelling on consumption.

Content of Coding – Influencers

A reduction in five to eight percent across a national market such as the US or UK could be huge. Some studies argue that a ban does decrease consumption, others say not at all. Until a truly global study is undertaken, following countries with bans for many years, it’s impossible to say.

The drinks industry clearly knows the power of advertising and it is estimated that each year more than £800 million is spent on advertising alcoholic beverages in the UK. Tobacco advertising was seen to promote smoking in general, especially to children and young people who couldn’t really relate to the difference in the brands but were given positive messages about smoking in general. “I am determined to tackle the harmful impacts that alcohol marketing can have on children and young people, as well as the triggering effect it can have on heavy drinkers and those in recovery. This analysis found that advertisements were designed to explicitly target many prohibited themes, particularly relating to immoderate consumption and social and sexual success, as well as targeting drinkers under 18 years of age. The author of this analysis argued that current regulations focus on content, which requires regulators to make judgments about concepts such as ‘social success’ or ‘masculinity’ that are open to multiple and contested interpretations.

  • However, there remains a need to understand the emerging tactics used by alcohol marketers on digital media and how young people are now active participants in the process of alcohol promotion.
  • Extra care must also be taken to ensure that marketers do not work with celebrities or creators who appeal to younger people which surely must mean that whenever alcohol brands are featured as supporting sports events they are breaching this voluntary code of conduct.
  • Those marketing communications should not be likely to promote an alcohol product or brand.
  • Find out the latest guidance to keep your health risks from alcohol to a low level.
  • Marketing communications must be socially responsible and must contain nothing that is likely to lead people to adopt styles of drinking that are unwise.
  • The aim of this project is to assist local and national policy-makers develop efficient strategies to help achieve wide scale roll out of alcohol interventions to reduce health harm.

A marketing email and the restaurant’s website irresponsibly condoned or encouraged excessive drinking and unwise styles of drinking, including excessive drinking during a heatwave. Helpful information on the advertising rules for Alcohol ads, and examples of previous Advertising Standards Authority rulings in this area. In an earlier study looking at people’s perceptions of the amount of wine in different glasses, we found that the same amount of wine was seen as less in larger compared to smaller glasses, and in narrower compared to wider glasses, for larger portions of wine.

In this set of bar studies, we found that increasing the size of wine glasses led to an almost 10% increase in wine sales for some comparisons between smaller and larger glasses. However, we did not see significant differences for some other comparisons between glasses of different sizes. Similar clustering in perceived strength was observed amongst the high verbal descriptors. Regular was the most appealing strength descriptor, with the low and high verbal descriptors using intensifiers rated least appealing. Another problem is that most of our regulatory and policy frameworks are built on the assumption that marketing can be monitored – that it is accountable to independent scrutiny.

Alcohol screening and brief intervention in the police custody suite setting

The Scottish Government is being called upon to take further action in a bid to tackle the “public health emergency”. The paper “Do UK television advertisements abide by the Code of Broadcast Advertising rules regarding the portrayal of alcohol? ” by Rebecca Searle; Daisy Alston and David P. French is published in the Journal Alcohol and Alcoholism.

  • Zenith predicts that brands will boost their digital advertising to support alcohol e-commerce even as the on-trade reopens due to increased consumer awareness of online alcohol purchasing.
  • Restrictions and regulations on marketing can reduce impulse purchasing or over-purchasing, as well as protecting those who are vulnerable to harm, such as children and people in recovery.
  • During 2020, alcohol advertising declined by 52% in Spain, 48% in the UK, 22% in Germany and 23% in France.
  • It couldn’t be – there’s too much fresh air, too much health – too much absolute exuding of youth and vitality – that’s the way they do it”.

The ads themselves have to contain warnings about the potential harm caused by drinking but they still get through, a fact which upsets Swedish jurisdiction. Alcohol advertising is some of the most highly regulated marketing in the world. With such tight restrictions the majority of this industry tries to self-regulate, however there are countries worldwide where some, or all, forms of advertisement for alcohol is banned. However, the closure of bars due to the pandemic saw this change rapidly.

The effects of alcohol on our health service

Of course the reduction in alcohol consumption would mean less revenue for the government on taxes but advertisers are not the only ones who can be creative when it comes to generating income. It seems strange then that after reading the findings in the report co authored by Professor David Nutt and The Lancet, proving that alcohol is the most dangerous drug known to society the government refuses to take the same stance as they did with the advertising of tobacco. According to the report by professor Nutt, alcohol is considered the most harmful drug to the user and to others above heroin, crack cocaine and even above smoking yet tobacco advertising is banned and alcohol advertising is not. If the government felt called to ban tobacco advertising because of the health risks, then why not do the same for alcohol advertising?

Research has found that exposure to alcohol advertising is linked to children drinking from an earlier age and in a riskier way. 82% of young people in one research study recalled seeing at least one form of alcohol marketing in the past month. First, our first study was conducted among older adolescents and young adults. Therefore, the influencers we analyzed might differ slightly from those influencers popular among minors. However, as already argued, based on a previous pilot study , we can be quite certain that several of the influencers we studied have a fair share of minors among their followers. Furthermore, based on the second study that we conducted among minors, we were able to make somewhat stronger claims about the generalizability of the results to the context of minors’ exposure to alcoholposts of influencers.

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