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Alcohol companies target youths with magazine ads, new study shows
Date:12/2/2009

BOSTON Alcoholic beverages popular among youths are more likely to be advertised in magazines with high youth readership than alcoholic drinks consumed mainly by adults, resulting in disproportionately high youth exposure to such targeted alcohol ads, according to a new study.

Researchers at the Boston University School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and Virtual Media Resources who conducted the study -- published in this month's issue of the Journal of Adolescent Health -- say their findings present the strongest evidence to date that alcohol companies are targeting youths through magazine advertising.

They note that three major trade associations representing the alcoholic beverage industry the Wine Institute, the Beer Institute, and the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States have publicly stated that they do not advertise to underage youths.

"Alcohol companies are deceiving us," said Dr. Michael Siegel, professor of community health sciences at Boston University School of Public Health and a co-author of the study. "Contrary to their public statements, they are targeting youths through their advertising. They are saying one thing, but doing another."

The study compared alcohol advertisement placements in 118 magazines from 2002 to 2006, specifically looking at the relationship between a magazine's youth readership and the probability of youth alcoholic beverage types -- defined as those consumed by a large proportion of youth -- being advertised in each magazine.

The researchers found that in magazines with the highest levels of youth readership, youth alcoholic beverage types (e.g., premium beer, low calorie beer, rum, vodka, and flavored alcohol beverages) were more than four times more likely to be advertised than non-youth types (e.g., gin, brandy, whiskey, and scotch). As youth readership increased in a magazine, so did the number of youth alcoholic be
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Contact: Mike Siegel
mbsiegel@bu.edu
617-638-5167
Boston University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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