Thursday, August 9, 2012

Alcohol ads violate industry standards and target teens

Alcohol ads that violate industry guidelines are more likely to appear in magazines popular with teen readers, a new study finds. Ads violate industry guidelines if they appear to target a primarily underage audience, highlight the high alcohol content of a product, or portray drinking in conjunction with activities that require a high degree of alertness or coordination, such as swimming.

Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health studied 1,261 ads for alcopops, beer, spirits or wine that appeared more than 2,500 times in 11 magazines that are popular among teens. The ads were rated according to a number of factors, such as whether they portrayed over-consumption of alcohol, addiction content, sex-related content, or injury content.

“The finding that violations of the alcohol industry’s advertising standards were most common in magazines with the most youthful audiences tells us self-regulated voluntary codes are failing,” said study co-author David Jernigan, PhD. “It’s time to seriously consider stronger limits on youth exposure to alcohol advertising.”

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