Cable Television Compliance with Alcohol Advertising Rules to People Under 21, 2014-2016

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Source: Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth

Excessive alcohol consumption contributes to an average of 4,350 deaths among people under age 21 each year, and is associated with many other health risk behaviors, including smoking, physical fighting, and high-risk sexual activity.  At least 25 longitudinal studies affirmed that youth exposure to alcohol advertising is associated with the initiation of alcohol consumption by youth, the amount of alcohol consumed per drinking occasion, and adverse health consequences.  A new report by the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health  examined non-compliant alcohol advertising exposure on cable TV that aired in 2015 and 2016. The report identified 25 alcohol brands that were responsible for the largest amount of non-compliant alcohol advertising exposure, and assessed the brand-specific distribution of non-compliant exposure using no-buy list criteria. The report also identified 25 programs and network-dayparts that were responsible for the largest amount of non-compliant alcohol advertising exposure.  The study found that in the 2-year period, about 1 in 13 alcohol advertising impressions viewed on cable TV by youth under the legal drinking age did not comply with the alcohol industry’s voluntary placement guideline. This resulted in 2.5 billion non-compliant underage impressions during these two years. Youth exposure to alcohol advertising has been associated with the initiation of underage drinking, consuming a larger amount of alcohol, and adverse health and social problems.  Reducing this exposure is an important priority for the prevention of alcohol consumption and alcohol-related harms among youth.