Alcohol Content on TV Influences Underage Drinkers
Unlike tobacco companies, alcohol companies are free to advertise their products on television. By doing so, they are exposing their products to millions of people, many of which are underage youths. This exposure influences these underage youths into not only experimenting with alcohol, but experimenting with certain brands they are more exposed to.
To learn more about the connection between exposure and consumption, researchers analyzed alcohol-related content on 10 popular television shows. This content included brand placement. They found that there was an average of two alcohol brand placements per episode, but some had as many as 13 per episode. Some brands were mentioned more than others. Budweiser was mentioned most frequently, followed by Heineken.
The researchers then studied the television habits of 2,600 youths between the ages of 15 and 20. The youths were questioned on which brands they drink most frequently, and how often they do so. It was no surprise that the brands most popular on television and in advertisements were the most popular brands among youths. The youths watching more television were also susceptible to binge drinking.
Parents should be aware that children will be exposed to alcohol brands if they are watching television shows rated PG or higher.