Social Media Marketing Leads to More Alcohol Consumption
Dr Tina Lam studied online survey data collected from 301 Australian youths reporting on their alcohol consumption behaviours and involvement with alcohol marketing on social networking sites.
According to her study:
- Australian youths exposed to frequent alcohol marketing on social networking sites such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter consume 13% to 40% more alcohol compared to their peers not exposed to such messages.
- The study showed that increased engagement with alcohol-related content on social networking sites increased consumption of alcohol between 2.6 to 4.5 standard alcohol units.
When alcohol marketing such as the wearing of branded merchandise is shared through social media by trusted sources such as their friends, they are less likely to think of it as advertising, and more likely to incorporate pro-alcohol attitudes into their lifestyle,” said Dr. Tina Lam, researcher of the study, as per City Journal.
Victorian Alcohol and Drug Association executive officer Sam Biondo noted that in recent years, there is a growing trend for alcohol brands and companies to use social media channels specifically to target young people. He also noted while restrictions are set on alcohol advertising on television during hours when young people might be tuning in, these restrictions do not apply when a sporting event is taking place.
According to a different study by Dr Belinda Reeve, University of Sydney senior lecturer, 87% of all alcohol advertisements were shown in sports programs as opposed to 13% in non-sports programs.