The aim of this study is to advance our understanding of the potential role of alcohol marketing on youth alcohol use by investigating the relationship between brand-specific alcohol advertising exposure and brand- specific alcohol consumption among underage youth. Although marketing is one potentially important contributor to youth drinking, existing studies on the effect of alcohol marketing on youth alcohol consumption have been inconsistent. One possible reason for the inconsistency in the existing literature is that virtually all previous studies examining the link between alcohol advertising and alcohol consumption have investigated patterns of total alcohol advertising and consumption even though alcohol is advertised and consumed at the brand-level. The Institute of Medicine noted this serious flaw in the existing literature and recommended the collection of alcohol brand preference data from underage drinkers. To date, however, there are no available national data on youth alcohol brand use. This proposed study aims to fill this glaring deficiency in our understanding of youth drinking behavior by conducting the first national survey devoted to collecting youth alcohol brand preferences. Specifically, this proposal will combine youth-specific brand consumption data with state-of the-art alcohol advertising exposure data to provide the first comprehensive assessment of the relationship between brand-specific alcohol advertising and youth alcohol consumption.
The specific aims of the project are: (1) to determine alcohol brand preference and brand-specific consumption patterns of underage youth (ages 13-20) among a nationally representative sample of underage youth;(2) to determine the brand-specific exposure of underage youth to alcohol advertising in magazines and on television;and (3) to determine the relationship between brand-specific alcohol advertising exposure and brand-specific alcohol consumption among youth. The proposed research will consist of three projects that correspond to each of the three specific aims. Project 1 consists of the first nationally-representative survey of brand-specific alcohol consumption among underage youth, which will be conducted using a new survey instrument administered to a national, pre-recruited youth internet panel. Project 2 involves the collection and analysis of data on brand- specific alcohol advertising in magazines and on television for the five-year period 2007-2011 to derive, for the first time, estimates of underage youth exposure to alcohol advertising in these media for each alcohol brand. Project 3 involves the combination of the data compiled in Projects #1 and #2 to investigate the relationship between the volume of advertising for different alcohol brands and the amount of consumption of these brands among underage youth. This research will have important implications for alcohol research, policy, and practice as it will help the NIAAA to initiate a new line of alcohol brand research and will help to inform the development of more effective interventions to prevent youth alcohol use and its terrible consequences.

Public Health Relevance

This project is important to the public's health because it explores the role that alcohol advertising may play in influencing youth alcohol use. This research will help to inform the development of more effective policies to monitor the potential role of alcohol advertising on youth drinking and to prevent or reduce youth alcohol use and its terrible consequences.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
Research Project (R01)
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Community Influences on Health Behavior (CIHB)
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White, Aaron
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Johns Hopkins University
Public Health & Prev Medicine
Schools of Public Health
United States
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