Friday, April 18, 2014

Influence of Alcohol Placement and Advertisement on Youth and Underage Drinking

The way alcohol products are displayed in stores and alcohol advertisements viewed by children both impact how acceptable children perceive alcohol to be. Children do not understand “intent to sell” and therefore take what they see at face value. It is through youth exposure to alcohol advertising that attitudes and perceptions are shaped. This type of positive perception is known to directly influence underage drinking.

In-store alcohol ads have the most impact on kids who have not yet started drinking. Research has shown that every dollar spent on in-store alcohol advertisements leads to a three percent increase in underage drinking. Also, approximately 4,000 kids under the age of twenty-one die every year because of the excessive use of alcohol. Adult education has been effective in reducing the negative effects of alcohol advertisements on kids. It is important to know how to change what our kids see that promote negative influences. One way to begin bringing about this change is to recognize responsible and irresponsible retailing and how to encourage retailers to advertise responsibly. 

Responsible Retailers:
  • Place alcoholic products and advertisements apart from youth products
  • Place alcoholic beverages away from sodas, snacks, and sports drinks
  • Notifies manager when observing irresponsible placement of alcohol ads 

Irresponsible Retailers:
  • Ignores irresponsible placement of alcohol ads
  • Encourages placement of alcohol products and ads near youth products, sodas, snacks, and sports drinks  

      How to Encourage Responsible Retailers:

  • Bring to retailers attention irresponsible placement of ads
  • Ask to talk with a manager
  • Write a letter to management
  • Offer handout to managers on alcohol advertisement's impact on youth

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