Does the French Évin Law on Alcohol Advertising Content Reduce the Attractiveness of Alcohol for Young People? An Online Experimental Survey
France’s Évin law limits the content of alcohol advertising to purely factual product information. Little research to date has examined the effectiveness of this measure. To address this gap, this study investigated the effect on young people of (a) content restrictions in general, (b) more or less strict content regulations, and (c) whether different youth profiles are more or less susceptible to content regulations.
An online experimental survey on 18- to 25-year-olds in France was conducted (n = 2,163). Participants were exposed to three advertising conditions for four alcohol brands: (a) neutral ads with only bottles and logos (in line with Évin law restrictions); (b) contextual ads (partying and sport iconography) without characters; and (c) contextual ads featuring characters. Participants self-reported their reactions on attention, appeal, product, alcohol consumption perception, image benefits, and perceived behavioral impact. Demographics and alcohol use measures were also collected.
- For almost all reactions, ads that featured sport or party contexts (with/without characters) generated more positive reactions and more perceived behavioral impact compared with neutral ads.
- Ads that featured characters had more positive reactions than ads without characters.
- Women and the youngest segment (18–21 years old) emerged as the most sensitive to contextual ads.
Regulating alcohol advertising content via strongly prohibitive measures, as per France’s Évin law in 1991 or similar measures in other countries, is an effective policy direction for protecting vulnerable young people. This approach should be considered by countries that currently have only partial bans on alcohol advertising placement.