Alcohol Advertising and Young People's Drinking: Representation, Reception and Regulation

Alcohol Advertising and Young People's Drinking: Representation, Reception and Regulation

Barrie Gunter, Anders Hansen, Maria Touri

Language: English

Pages: 251


Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

A thorough examination of the relationship between young people's drinking and exposure to media representations of alcohol, including alcohol marketing and advertising.

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the Panos Institute. vii This page intentionally left blank 1 Alcohol Consumption and Youth: Key Issues There is growing concern about problems of alcohol misuse and abuse among young people. In the new millennium, government and medical authorities have highlighted the health and social problems associated with excessive alcohol consumption, and the issue has received increasingly widespread media attention (see Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit, 2003; BMA, 2008). While some evidence points

patterns of relationships between alcohol advertising volumes and alcohol consumption volumes. Between 2001 and 2005 in the US, for example, it was calculated that youth exposure to alcohol advertising on television had increased by 41 per cent. There was, in particular, a significant increase in the numbers of advertisements for distilled spirits on television. In 2001, a total of 1973 spirits advertisements were found and by 2005, this figure had risen dramatically to 46,854 advertisements

permeates the country geographically at all levels. The sheer rise to prominence of news stories about binge drinking and associated problems and issues over the last decade is noteworthy. Thus the number of prominent news stories about binge drinking in British national newspapers rose from 118 in 2000/2001 to 616 in 2004/2005 and further still to 710 in 2008/2009 (to 21–September 09).1 The intense news media attention to alcohol and drinking should of course not be seen as an objective

Center, 2004). Some media may be effective at reaching community or opinion leaders while others may reach the general population. One further criterion that might influence media content sampling in any study of news coverage of alcohol-related issues is the degree of trust or authority that attaches to particular news suppliers. One of the principal factors according to which the quality of news coverage is assessed by news consumers is its objectivity. This factor is a central ingredient of

they otherwise would do, implying that alcohol consumption bestows the consumer with special social status, and associating alcohol with behaviour that is antisocial or potentially harmful in nature. Advertising is most likely to have an impact when it taps into specific aspects of youth culture. This could endow alcohol with special status that renders it particularly attractive to youngsters searching for their social identity and sensitive to the opinions of their peers. Regulators in

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