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Home > An investigation into the ethics of alcohol advertising to students of the Institute of Technology, Sligo.

Dunleavy, Emma (2008) An investigation into the ethics of alcohol advertising to students of the Institute of Technology, Sligo. MSc thesis, Institution of Technology, Sligo.

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The purpose of the research was primarily to ascertain whether or not the advertising of alcohol on college grounds influenced the Students of the Institute of Technology, Sligo to purchase alcohol. In order to do so, it was necessary to firstly establish what is understood by the term ethics, from a theoretical background and the role it plays in the advertising of potentially harmful products like alcohol. One of the most heated advertising issues in recent years is the proposed restrictions on the advertising of controversial products such as alcohol. The amount of money spent on alcohol advertising continues to increase substantially each year, in 2002 the spend on alcohol advertising in Ireland was €43.2 million across television, radio, cinema, outdoor and press. Ireland continues to be amongst the highest consumers of alcohol in the world.


Drinking alcohol seems to be an integral part of the process of adolescent development, partially explaining why alcohol use is so widespread among university and college students and while moderate alcohol consumption is not necessarily a negative behaviour, binge drinking or excessive drinking is cause for concern.


In order to investigate the role of ethics in the advertising of alcohol to college students in the Institute of Technology, Sligo a questionnaire was employed to assist the research process. The questionnaire was designed in order to ascertain an insight into the student’s view of the advertising of alcohol on college grounds.


The research findings highlighted that students are open minded and have positive views towards the idea of alcohol advertising on campus, many students suggested that socialising is a huge part of college life and even though they were aware of the alcohol advertisements around the college, the majority of participants believed that, advertising has no influence over their decision to purchase alcohol. However, there were some contradicting views from students who believed that the advertising of class parties for example placed extra pressure especially from fellow students to go out and drink alcohol.


The findings of this research study propose that more work must be imposed by the education system to promote the effects and potential dangers that binge drinking can have on the lives of students both from an academic and personal aspect.

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