Alcohol Advertising Generally Leads To Higher Alcohol Consumption
Prompted by the National Prevention Agreement (2018) in Netherlands, a systematic literature review and four focus group sessions were conducted to describe the current body of knowledge about the scope and consequences of alcohol marketing. The researchers also identified several knowledge gaps and recommendations for future research.
The study was conducted by the University of Amsterdam in collaboration with the University of Twente.
The most important conclusion was that the majority of scientific studies and reviews conclude that there are positive associations between alcohol marketing and alcohol consumption, also in (underage) youth. According to two recent and large review studies, this is a causal relationship. Furthermore, the researchers conclude that alcohol marketing is omnipresent in Dutch society, and that alcohol marketing also reaches minors.
The marketing included channels such as TV commercials, advertising columns, event sponsoring, posts and tweets by alcohol brands and advertising on social media. The researchers highlight the need for attention on the increase in alcohol-related content and alcohol marketing on social media.
Several studies show that young people often encounter alcohol marketing on social media. In this context it’s often not clear who has initiated this content, and there is also a lack of clear rules within and between countries,” said Dr. Hanneke Hendriks, study co-author, as per the University of Amsterdam.Dr. Hanneke Hendriks, study co-author
The possible effects of alcohol marketing for pregnant women, heavy alcohol users, and addicted people is unknown. The possible effects of marketing for 0.0% beverages and the market penetration of these beverages in Dutch society are barely studied and require further attention.
National Prevention Agreement: making the Netherlands healthier
The National Prevention Agreement (2018) sets out goals and measures for making the Netherlands healthier. Besides alcohol consumption, the focus is also on smoking and obesity. The agreement includes two agreements on marketing of alcoholic beverages:
- Prevent marketing of alcoholic beverages from contributing to alcohol consumption.
- Strive to ensure that alcohol marketing does not reach and influence young people, or does this as little as possible. This goes further than banning alcohol marketing that is aimed at young people.
University of Amsterdam: “Alcohol advertising generally leads to higher alcohol consumption“