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Alcohol Ads on Cable TV Reach Young Audiences
Date:8/29/2009

Industry often advertises during shows watched by typical U.S. teens, analysis finds

FRIDAY, Aug. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Cable TV shows that attract a significant proportion of teenage viewers are also those that have the most ads for alcohol, new research has found.

Using Nielsen Media Research advertising industry data, researchers analyzed 600,000 ads for alcohol that aired on cable TV from 2001 through 2006. The researchers limited their analysis to shows that had an audience with less than 30 percent of viewers aged 12 to 20.

The study found that shows with a relatively higher percentage of viewers aged 12 to 20 had a higher frequency of alcohol ads, even after accounting for other factors that could explain ad placement decisions.

For every 1 percentage point increase in adolescent viewership, there was a 7 percent increase in beer ads, a 15 percent increase in spirits ads and a 22 percent increase in ads for low-alcohol refreshers or "alcopops," which are juice- or soda-like beverages that contain alcohol.

Conversely, for every 1 percent increase in adolescent viewership, ads for wine decreased by 8 percent. Researchers said this statistic shows that it is possible for advertisers to avoid shows with young audiences.

Cable TV accounts for about 95 percent of nationally televised ads for alcohol, according to the study. Previous research has shown the typical teen watches more than 200 alcohol ads on television each year.

The study, which will appear in the October issue of the American Journal of Public Health, is the first to show an association between ad placement and teen cable TV viewership, the researchers point out in a news release issued by the University of California, Los Angeles.

"Alcohol advertisers have pledged to avoid audiences made up of more than 30 percent underage viewers -- such as children's programming," said David H. Jernigan, director o
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