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Youth Exposure To Alcohol Mag Ads Declines

Wine, beer, and spirits advertisers have mostly complied with their voluntary commitment to decrease the amount of youth exposure to alcohol ads in consumer magazines, according to the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth at Johns Hopkins' Bloomberg School of Public Health.

However, some brands still maintain higher youth visibility than others, perhaps intentionally.

Total youth exposure to alcohol advertising in consumer magazines declined 48% from 2001-2008, CAMY found, based on its review of 29,026 alcohol-product ads in national magazines combined with data from Nielsen Company and GfK MRI showing the proportion of young readers in magazine audiences. The ads were placed at a cost of $2.7 billion.

In 2003, alcohol advertisers agreed to a voluntary standard that included not placing ads in magazines with youth readership comprising more than 30% of the total audience.

Still, some brands are definitely more visible than others.

In 2008, CAMY found that 16 brands (out of a total 325 advertising in magazines) accounted for half the ads in publications more likely to be seen by youth than adults. This list included Patron Silver Tequila, Absolut Vodka, Kahlua Liqueurs, Ketel One Vodka and Jim Beam Bourbon Whiskey.

Overall, 78% of youth exposure came in magazines with readership more likely to fall between the ages of 12-20 than adults 21 and older. This finding suggests that ad placements are part of a deliberate strategy to market alcohol to young adults.

At the same time, there has also been a big shift in the type of alcohol advertised, regardless of age group. Overall, the number of distilled spirits (liquor) ads fell by 34% from 2001 to 2008, while ads placed by brewers (i.e., beer ads) increased by 158%.

As a result, youth exposure to liquor ads fell by 62%, while youth exposure to beer ads increased 57% over the same period.


Erik Sass, MediaDailyNews. August 10, 2010

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