Home > Overexposed and overlooked. Young people’s views on the regulation of alcohol promotion.

Alcohol Concern Youth Policy Project. (2011) Overexposed and overlooked. Young people’s views on the regulation of alcohol promotion. London: Alcohol Concern.

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The impact of alcohol marketing on children and young people: The international evidence 2
Introduction 3
Methodology 4
Tables of survey variables 5
Results 6
• Alcohol advertising on TV
• Alcohol advertising in the cinema
• Alcohol advertising on billboards and posters
• Alcohol promotion in supermarkets and off-licences
• Alcohol advertising on the Internet
• Alcohol website age-affirmation mechanisms
• Recognising alcohol promotion
• Who should develop alcohol-promotion regulation
• Who should pay for health messages
Key findings 9
Conclusion 11
Footnotes and references 12
Recommendations 13

The Alcohol Concern Youth Policy project surveyed the views of over 2300 children and young people under-18 about alcohol-promotion regulation in England and Wales. Designed by young people for young people, the survey findings reveal that the majority of young people, whilst not wanting to stop advertisers reaching adult audiences, are supportive of robust regulation that protects under-18s from exposure. In many instances this requires stronger regulation than currently exists. The challenge is for government to systematically include young people’s voices in regulatory decision-making and to develop a framework of protection from exposure to alcohol promotion that more accurately reflects what young people themselves deserve and expect.

International evidence linking children’s and young people’s exposure to alcohol marketing with consumption is widely acknowledged. A review of evidence concluded that exposure to alcohol marketing reduces the age at which young people start to drink, increases the likelihood that they will drink and increases the amount of alcohol they will consume once they have started to drink. The
European Union Alcohol and Health Forum found overwhelming evidence that exposure to “alcohol marketing increases the likelihood that adolescents will start to use alcohol and drink more if they are using alcohol”.

Young people in the UK have by far the most positive expectations of alcohol in Europe and are least likely to feel that it might cause them harm3. This may be influenced by their collective cumulative exposure to alcohol marketing. Evidence shows a strong correlation between the amount spent on marketing and consumption by 11-to-15 year-olds4. If young people see and hear repeated positive messages about drinking alcohol, then their expectations of alcohol may well begin to reflect the content of such messages.

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