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Home > An alcohol ad every 35 seconds. A snapshot of how the alcohol industry is using a global pandemic as a marketing opportunity.

Foundation for Alcohol Research & Education, Cancer Council WA. (2020) An alcohol ad every 35 seconds. A snapshot of how the alcohol industry is using a global pandemic as a marketing opportunity. ACT, Australia: FARE.

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Key points
• In one hour on a Friday night, 107 sponsored alcohol advertisements were displayed on a personal Facebook and Instagram account. This equates to approximately one alcohol advertisement every 35 seconds.
• Six marketing message categories were identified: get easy access to alcohol without leaving your home (58%), save money (55%), buy more (35%), drink alcohol during the COVID-19 pandemic (24%), use alcohol to cope, ‘survive’, or feel better (16%), and choose ‘healthier’ alcohol products (14%).
• Nearly three-quarters of advertisements (71%) explicitly or implicitly referenced the COVID-19 pandemic.
• Two-thirds (66%) of the alcohol advertisements had a ‘Shop now’ or ‘Get offer’ button linking directly to their online store.
• The marketing messages being used to promote alcohol during COVID-19 are particularly concerning as they promote known risk factors for harmful drinking, including buying more, drinking to cope, drinking daily and drinking at home or alone in the home.


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