Restricting times at when alcohol can be advertised may be counter productive

Photo by Flickr user Martin Deutsch

Many in our field are understandably concerned about the impact of alcohol advertising on youth drinking.  There’s a fair amount of evidence that alcohol advertising is attractive to young people and that it makes them feel more positive about the idea of drinking.

As an editorial in the Journal of Public Affairs points out:

it is clear that children and youth are exposed to, remember, and like alcohol advertising; and that there is an association between young people’s exposure to and liking of advertisements and current and future drinking. The evidence of a direct association between advertising exposure and underage drinking is mounting, with empirical evidence from recent longitudinal studies showing a direct measurable effect of exposure on drinking initiation and consumption levels

But new research suggests that imposing a watershed may not have the effect we’d expect.  The research has been reported by Science Daily:

Efforts to reduce underage exposure to alcohol advertising by implementing time restrictions have not worked, according to new research from the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth (CAMY) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Dutch Institute for Alcohol Policy. The report, published in the Journal of Public Affairs, confirms what Dutch researchers had already learned in that country: time restrictions on alcohol advertising actually increase teen exposure, because companies move the advertising to late night.

Something to think about when developing our policy asks.


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