British and Dutch Teens See More Alcohol Ads than Adults Do

TV - by Austin Anomic

We’ve looked before at some of the research linking alcohol advertising and young people’s drinking.  And now I’ve been reading this study for the European Commission which has found that British and Dutch teenagers are more likely to see alcohol adverts than adults.

It appears that this is particularly true for younger teenagers:

Young people in the UK (ages 10–15 years) and the Netherlands (13–19 years) were exposed to significantly more alcohol advertising compared to adults, than would be expected given their viewership patterns. In the UK, this age group was exposed to 11 per cent more alcohol advertising than adults (aged 25 years and older) (incidence rate ratio IRR of 1.11). Patterns varied by the type of alcoholic beverage. Associations were strongest for ready-mixed drinks, with young people exposed to 51 per cent more advertising than adults. Among those aged 16–24 years, exposure to alcohol advertising was only 2 per cent higher than among adults.


The study suggests that while the content of the adverts met the regulatory codes in each country they were more likely to appeal to younger audiences in the UK than in the Netherlands or Germany.  In the latter cases the adverts there was more focus on the history, production and ingredients of the drinks, while in the UK the use of music, technological effects and “qualities associated with consuming the drink (eg smooth or refreshing) and the occasions where drinks would be consumed” were seen as being more attractive to younger audiences.

The report also has an interesting if inconclusive section on on-line advertising and the use of social media by the drinks industry.


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