Research clearly indicates that, in addition to parents and peers, alcohol advertising and marketing have a significant impact on youth decisions to drink.
"While many factors may influence an underage person's drinking decisions, including among other things parents, peers and the media, there is reason to believe that advertising also plays a role." (Federal Trade Commission, Self-Regulation in the Alcohol Industry, 1999)1
Parents and peers have a large impact on youth decisions to drink. However, research clearly indicates that alcohol advertising and marketing also have a significant impact by influencing the attitudes of parents and peers and helping to create an environment that promotes underage drinking.
Updated July 2005
1Federal Trade Commission, Self-Regulation in the Alcohol Industry: A Review of Industry Efforts to Avoid Promoting Alcohol to Underage Consumers (Washington, DC: Federal Trade Commission, 1999), 4.
2C.F. Garfield, P.J. Chung, P.J. Rathouz, "Alcohol Advertising in Magazines and Youth Readership," The Journal of the American Medical Association 289, no. 18 (May 14, 2003): 2424-2429.
3R.L. Collins, T. Schell, P.L. Ellickson, and D. McCaffrey, "Predictors of beer advertising awareness among eighth graders," Addiction 98 (2003): 1297-1306.
4J.W. Grube, "Television alcohol portrayals, alcohol advertising and alcohol expectancies among children and adolescents," in Effects of the Mass Media on the Use and Abuse of Alcohol, eds. S.E. Martin and P. Mail (Bethesda, MD: National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 1995), 105-121.
5J.W. Grube, "Alcohol advertising–a study of children and adolescents: preliminary results," (Accessed 19 Nov 2003).
6A.W. Stacy, J.B. Zogg, J.B. Unger, and C.W. Dent, "Exposure to Televised Alchool Ads and Subsequent Adolescent Alcohol Use," American Journal of Health Behavior 28, no. 6 (2004): 498-509.
7H. Saffer and D. Dave, Alcohol Advertising and Alcohol Consumption by Adolescents, Working Paper 9676 (Cambridge, MA: National Bureau of Economic Research, May 2003), (accessed 19 Nov 2003).
8L. Leiber, Commercial and Character Slogan Recall by Children Aged 9 to 11 Years: Budweiser Frogs versus Bugs Bunny (Berkeley: Center on Alcohol Advertising, 1996).
9Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth, Untitled Brochure (Washington, DC: Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth, 2005).
10Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth, Unpublished analysis using TNS Media Intelligence and Nielsen Media Research, 2005.
11B. Horovitz, M. Wells, "Ads for adult vices big hit with teens," USA Today (31 January 1997): News 1A.
12Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, Executive Summary of Findings of Research Study of the Public Opinion Concerning Warning Labels on Containers of Alcoholic Beverages (Washington, DC: BATF, 1988), 14, cited in U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, Youth and Alcohol: Controlling Alcohol Advertising that Appeals to Youth (Washington, DC: Department of Health and Human Services, October 1991), 2.
13Century Council, "Poll shows many people believe industry encourages teen drinking," Alcohol Issues Insights 8 no. 8 (3 August 1991).
14Cited in U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, Youth and Alcohol: Controlling Alcohol Advertising that Appeals to Youth, 2.
15TNS Media Intelligence; Spending on radio from Miller-Kaplan Associates.
16Federal Trade Commission, Self-Regulation in the Alcohol Industry, Appendix B: Alcohol Advertising Expenditures, iii.