It appears that the more alcohol advertisements a teenager watches the more likely they are to consume the advertised products.
A research, published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, was carried out by Dr. Timothy Naimi from Boston University School of Public Health. He explains that although manufacturers suggest that their ads are only meant to drive audiences to choose a particular product, advertising does influence people to drink alcohol, which is something most alcohol producers deny.
Dr. Naimi and its colleagues surveyed over 1,000 people aged 13 to 20 who claimed to have drunk alcohol sometime over the past month. Researchers asked them if they had seen particular alcohol products being advertised on TV, then they were questioned about the brands appearing in the commercials.
Researchers measured exposure, and those with the lowest levels showed an average consumption of 14 drinks per month. As exposure grew, participants reached up to 200 drinks a month, showing a clear proportional relationship between both factors.
Although many could argue that people that drink are more acquainted with brand names as they drink more frequently, it is clear that alcohol advertisements are prominent on the TV, which leads kids to know names of several types of beer even if their family does not drink at all. The study concluded that kids who watch more TV are more likely to drink as they are constantly exposed to brands advertising their products. It appears that the estimated number of watched alcohol ads per day for kids aged 11 thru 14 is of two to four.
Children do as they see
Dr. Naimi placed a heavy emphasis on alcohol producers’ claim that advertising does not influence people into drinking, as it was completely rebuked. “I think the message is that this adds to evidence that alcohol advertising matters in terms of youth drinking and it demonstrates good support for the idea that alcohol advertising is not only related to which brands kids might choose to drink but how much they choose to drink in total,” Dr. Naimi stated.
But even if advertising is considered as an important factor in influence to drink alcohol, parents are always deemed as the main contributor or deterrent on whether a kid consumes alcohol. According to independent charity Drinkaware, the best way to introduce alcohol to a kids life is to openly talk about it but not just demystifying it by allowing them to drink on special occasions.
Even if the parent might feel hypocritical restricting their children’s alcohol consumption, it is important that parents know the difference between adults drinking and kids drinking. It is also vital to be aware of how much alcohol is being consumed in front of the children, especially on holidays and special occasions as children do notice the drinking customs of their parents.