African-American Youth See Higher Levels of Alcohol Advertising, Study Finds

Africans-American youth are exposed to higher levels of alcohol advertising than children and teens of other racial groups, according to a new study.

Researchers from the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth (CAMY) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore analyzed exposure to alcohol ads in magazines, radio and television among African-American youth in comparison to all youth. They were motivated by study findings that 65 percent of all African-American high school students had at least one sip of alcohol, and that 25 percent of them have consumed their first alcoholic beverage before age 13, reports.

According to a CAMY news release, alcohol is the most widely used drug among African-American youth. “At least 14 studies have found that the more young people are exposed to alcohol advertising and marketing, the more likely they are to drink, or if they are already drinking, to drink more,” the researchers noted.

The report found African-American youth saw 32 percent more alcohol advertising than all youth in national magazines during 2008. They were exposed to 17 percent more advertising per capita than all youth in 2009, including 20 percent more exposure to distilled spirits advertising.

The study concluded that some alcohol brands and specific media outlets produce content that results in up to five times as much alcohol advertising exposure for African-American youth, in comparison to youths of other races.

“The report’s central finding—that African-American youth are being over-exposed to alcohol advertising—is a result of two key phenomena,” said author David Jernigan, PhD, the Director of CAMY. “First, brands are specifically targeting African-American audiences and, secondly, African-American media habits make them more vulnerable to alcohol advertising in general because of higher levels of media consumption. As a result, there should be a commitment from alcohol marketers to cut exposure to this high-risk population.”

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    Hiawatha Bouldin

    August 9, 2013 at 2:50 PM

    You’re forgetting one other factor. Limited monitoring of advertising codes and compliance in minority and low income communities. By using “random” selections to perform compliance checks on substances and advertising, many of our lower income communities see less enforcement officials and actual compliance checks, thereby the vendor tend to have more advertisements posted in their stores. More disturbing, is that the community members themselves are not informed of their rights (and abilities) to report infractions of over advertisement
    and even improper (illegal)sales. Our efforts to educated these population groups on the strategies and tactics used by the industry would help improve the actions of the groups being impacted. That can only happen by ensuring we have sufficient individuals from these minority populations working in the professions and agencies that monitor these issues.

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