Underage drinking has reached historically low rates in the U.S., according to recently released statistics. However, teens still peek at alcohol, preferring well-advertised brands.
Across the U.S., underage drinking is prohibited. Regulations have been set in place to at least diminish the number of underage or binge drinkers under the legal age. And they have largely been successful. Nonetheless, with branding and marketing campaigns for alcoholic drinks and products being a constant presence, teens might still be tempted to try.
According to new research, when they do they will choose an alcoholic drink heavily advertised on television, in magazines or any other media. The research intended to find out what brands attract underage drinkers.
The study was conducted from December 2011 until May 2012. Approximately 1,100 underage drinkers have been polled to understand the association between underage drinking and alcohol advertising. The results of the study are featuring in the American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse.
What the research team found is that drinkers under the legal age will be five times likelier to consume the brands that they see promoted on television. 36 percent of the respondents are more likely to choose brands featured in magazines. Very few will stray from these two groups. As such, the findings shed more light on how specific brands may contribute to encouraging underage drinking.
Teens still peek at alcohol, preferring well-advertised brands. However, in a statement from the VP of Distilled Spirits Council, Lisa Hawkins, the results of the survey are indicative of adult preferences. Underage drinking dropping to historic lows, while marketing and advertising efforts peaking at historic highs indicate that it’s not the advertising that is encouraging drinking alcohol.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, alcohol ranks on top of the list as the most abused drug with youth. Annually, 4,300 deaths due to alcohol consumption are registered among underage drinkers.
Against this background, Professor Michael Siegel, lead researcher on the study believes that the declaration of the VP of Distilled Council is rather oblivious to brand-specific advertising and alcohol brand advertising in connection to underage drinking.
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