Assessing the cumulative impact of alcohol marketing on young people’s drinking: Cross sectional data findings
As alcohol marketing remains a highly debated and politically charged issue, we examine the cumulative impact of alcohol marketing on alcohol initiation and drinking behaviour among youth (12–14 years). Cross-sectional data come from a cohort of 920 second year school pupils from Scotland. Regression models, with multiple control variables, were employed to examine the relationship between awareness of, and involvement with, a range of alcohol marketing communications, and drinking behaviour and intentions. Marketing variables were constructed for 15 different types of alcohol marketing, including marketing in new media. Drinking behaviour measures included drinking status and future drinking intentions. Significant associations were found between awareness of, and involvement with, alcohol marketing and drinking behaviour and intentions to drink alcohol in the next year. Given these associations, our study suggests the need for a revision of alcohol policy: one limiting youth exposure to these seemingly ubiquitous marketing communications.