Report

Youth Exposure to Alcohol Advertising on Television and in National Magazines, 2001 to 2006

  • December 19, 2007

Press reports and data from the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth (CAMY) indicate that alcohol companies are increasingly shifting their advertising from magazines to television, the Internet and other “new media.” Looking at magazines and television from 2001 to 2006 reveals that youth exposure to alcohol advertising has indeed fallen in magazines, but this decline has been accompanied by an increase in youth exposure to alcohol advertising on television.

The Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth asked Virtual Media Resources to analyze 19,466 alcohol advertisements placed in national magazines and 1,693,594 alcohol advertisements placed on cable and broadcast network television and local broadcast television from 2001 to 2006.

Key Findings

  • From 2001 to 2006, the number of alcohol advertisements in national magazines fell by 22% (from 3,616 to 2,831), while alcohol advertising spending in magazines peaked at $361 million in 2004 but fell to $331 million by 2006.
  • Youth, young adult and adult exposure to alcohol advertising in national magazines fell by 50%, 33% and 28% respectively from 2001 to 2006.
  • From 2001 to 2006, alcohol advertising spending on television increased by 27% (from $779 million to $992 million), while the number of advertisements on television grew by 33% (from 225,619 to 299,475).
  • Youth, young adult and adult exposure to alcohol advertising on television increased by 30%, 25% and 29% respectively from 2001 to 2006.
  • Compliance with the alcohol industry's voluntary 30% maximum for underage audiences of its advertising, a standard adopted in late 2003, has been good:
    • In 2006, 3% of alcohol advertisements in national magazines (90 of 2,831 advertisements) were placed in magazines with youth audiences larger than 30%.
    • In 2006, 6% of alcohol advertisements on television (18,220 of 299,475 advertisements) were placed on programming with underage audiences larger than 30%.
  • The 30% standard has produced slight progress in reducing youth exposure or overexposure to alcohol advertising:
    • Overall, declines in youth exposure to alcohol advertising in magazines have been nearly offset by the increase in exposure coming from television advertising.
    • On television, the percentage of youth exposure coming from alcohol advertising placed where youth are more likely to see it per capita than adults was virtually the same in 2006 as in 2001.