Australian Alcohol Beverage Advertising in Mainstream Australian Media 2003 to 2005: Expenditure, Exposure and Related Issues

  • Carroll Communications Vital Strategies and The University of Sydney
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... These harms associated with alcohol use and misuse apply to young people around the globe [4,7,12]. In Australia, the 2007 National Drug Strategy Household Survey reported that approximately 22% of Australian teenagers drink at least weekly and approximately 9% of youths aged [14][15][16][17][18][19] years reported drinking at risky or high-risk levels [13]. ...
... Alcohol is among the most heavily advertised products world-wide [15], resulting in increasing exposure to underage youth [16]. Estimated expenditure on alcohol advertising in mainstream Australian media exceeds A$100 million per annum, with metropolitan television representing more than 45% [17]. In the larger United States markets, alcohol advertising spending on television from 2001 to 2006 increased from US$779 million to US$992 million, with the number of advertisements growing by 33% [18]. ...
... Two recent studies in Australia found high levels of alcohol advertising exposure to underage youth [17,19]. ...
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This study investigated the exposure of underage youth to alcohol television advertising on metropolitan free-to-air television in the five mainland capital city markets of Australia. Exposure levels (target audience rating points; TARPs) were obtained for all alcohol advertisements screened from November 2005 to October 2006 in each capital city market for: children 0-12 years; underage teens 13-17 years; young adults 18-24 years; and mature adults 25+ years. The 30 most exposed advertisements across age groups were then content-analysed for elements appealing to children and underage youth. In each of the five metropolitan markets, mature adults were most exposed to alcohol advertising. Children were exposed to one-third the level of mature adults and underage teens to approximately the same level as young adults. However, there was considerable variation in media weight between markets, such that underage teens in two markets had higher advertising TARPs than young adults in other markets. All 30 highest exposed advertisements contained at least one element known to appeal to children and underage youth, with 23 containing two or more such elements. Fifteen of the 30 advertisements featured an animal. The self-regulation system in Australia does not protect children and youth from exposure to alcohol advertising, much of which contains elements appealing to these groups.
... We argue that the effects of youth meanings, attached to alcohol products, combined with over-exposure to alcohol marketing, in the context of the broad shift to social orders dominated by identity-linked consumerism (Kasser & Kanner, 2003;Schor, 2004), are of great concern. Alcohol marketing invests heavily (Huckle & Huakau, 2006;Jernigan & O'Hara, 2004;King, Taylor, & Carroll, 2005) in creating what we refer to as intoxigenic social environments, in which young people trust and value industry-given knowledge and messages presented in important domains of youth culture. We use this term to refer to the discursive social practices that engage with and utilise pro-intoxication talk to create and maintain expectations, norms and behaviours around alcohol consumption. ...
... In Australia, King et al. (2005) found annual expenditure on advertising has exceeded A$100m and evidence of over-exposure of underage media markets. ...
... As with international studies (Jernigan & O'Hara, 2004;King et al., 2005), local data on exposure of young people under the age of legal purchase, to alcohol promotion is high and trending upwards (Huckle & Huakau, 2006). The cumulative effects of such exposures will mean that children maturing in the current environment will have experienced many thousands of advertisements and other forms of marketing by the time they reach the ages of consumption and of legal purchase. ...
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Alcohol consumption among young people in New Zealand is on the rise. Given the broad array of acute and chronic harms that arise from this trend, it is a major cause for alarm and it is imperative that we improve our knowledge of key drivers of youth drinking. Changes wrought by the neoliberal political climate of deregulation that characterised the last two decades in many countries including Aotearoa (Aotearoa is a Maori name for New Zealand) New Zealand have transformed the availability of alcohol to young people. Commercial development of youth alcohol markets has seen the emergence of new environments, cultures and practices around drinking and intoxication but the ways in which these changes are interpreted and taken up are not well understood. This paper reports findings from a qualitative research project investigating the meaning-making practices of young people in New Zealand in response to alcohol marketing. Research data included group interviews with a range of Maori and Pakeha young people at three time periods. Thematic analyses of the youth data on usages of marketing materials indicate naturalisation of tropes of alcohol intoxication. We show how marketing is used and enjoyed in youth discourses creating and maintaining what we refer to as intoxigenic social environments. The implications are considered in light of the growing exposure of young people to alcohol marketing in a discussion of strategies to manage and mitigate its impacts on behaviour and consumption.
... Alcohol advertising and young people There is increasing evidence that young people are heavily exposed to alcohol advertising (e.g. Garfield et al. 2003, Jernigan et al. 2005, King et al. 2005, Jernigan 2006, Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth 2006a, 2006b). Furthermore, there is a growing body of literature demonstrating associations between reported exposure to, and liking of, alcohol advertising and drinking intentions and behaviours (e.g. ...
... There are significant differences in the culture of alcohol service and regulation in Australia which need to be accounted for, not least the lower drinking age of 18 (compared to the USA 21). There is little research in Australia into the effects of POS marketing on young people, with most of the existing research focused primarily on advertising (Jones and Donovan 2001, 2002, King et al. 2005, van Bueren and Davis 2005, Jones et al. 2008, Jones et al. 2009). To date, there have been only three Australian studies which have specifically examined POS alcohol promotions, all of which were exploratory in nature. ...
This study, part of a larger project examining marketing and alcohol, looked specifically at the effects of point of sale (POS) promotions on young people, with a view to providing evidence which could be used to inform policy and regulation in this area. A series of focus groups were conducted in three different locations with young people aged 16–25 years, separated by age and gender, with a total of 85 participants. Participants were asked questions about their recollection of various POS promotions and the effect of these promotions on their alcohol purchasing and consumption behaviour. The majority of participants indicated a strong link between POS promotions and alcohol purchasing and consumption behaviour. A majority of participants demonstrated a strong recall of previous promotions and almost all participants indicated they had been influenced to buy more or a particular brand of alcohol because of a promotion. Specifically, the results of the study indicate that POS promotions involving price or volume discounts have a strong impact on young people, and are particularly effective in encouraging the purchase of increased volumes of alcohol, suggesting a need for regulation in this area.
... In contrast to the USA, online advertising captured around 1.5% of the UK's total alcohol advertising expenditure in 2011, up from 0.7% in 2008 [23]. In Australia, television alcohol advertising expenditure decreased between 2004 and 2007, while outdoor advertising expenditure increased over this period [24,25]. The different patterns of changes in advertising expenditures between countries suggest that trends in alcohol advertising expenditure from one country are not generalisable to other countries, highlighting the need for countryspecific investigations. ...
... Previous studies have highlighted the importance of television in alcohol advertising [2,[24][25][26]. We found a decline in television alcohol advertising expenditure and an increase in expenditure in newspapers. ...
The aim of this study was to determine changes in advertising expenditures across eight media channels for the four main alcohol beverage types and alcohol retailers in Australia. Yearly advertising expenditures between January 1997 and December 2011 obtained from a leading media-monitoring company. Media channels assessed were: free-to-air television, newspapers, magazines, radio, outdoors (billboards), cinema, direct mail (from 2005) and online (from 2008). Data were categorised into alcohol retailers (e.g. supermarkets, off-licences) or four alcoholic beverage types (beer, wine, spirits, premixed spirits/cider). Regression analyses examined associations between year and expenditure. Total alcohol advertising expenditure peaked in 2007, then declined to 2011 (P = 0.02). Television advertising expenditure declined between 2000 and 2011 (P < 0.001), while outdoor advertising expenditure increased between 1997 and 2007. Alcohol retailers' advertising expenditure increased over time (P < 0.001), and from the mid-2000s exceeded expenditure for any single beverage category. For both beer and spirits, television advertising expenditure declined over time (beer: P < 0.001; spirits: P < 0.001) while outdoor advertising expenditure increased (beer: P < 0.001; spirits: P = 0.02). However, the number of advertised beer (P < 0.001), spirits (P < 0.001) and wine (P = 0.01) products increased over time. Retailers are playing an increasing role in advertising alcohol. As our study excluded non-traditional advertising media (e.g. sponsorships, in-store) we cannot determine whether declines in television advertising have been offset by increases in advertising in newer media channels. However, our findings that media channels used for alcohol advertising have changed over time highlights the need for adequate controls on alcohol advertising in all media channels. [White V, Faulkner A, Coomber K, Azar D, Room R, Livingston M, Chikritzhs T, Wakefield M. How has alcohol advertising in traditional and online media in Australia changed? Trends in advertising expenditure 1997-2011. Drug Alcohol Rev 2015]. © 2015 Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs.
... Undermining the abstinence message is alcohol advertising which has been shown to influence alcohol-related attitudes and behaviors among youth (Anderson, de Bruijn, Angus, Gordon, & Hastings, 2009;Fleming, Thorson, & Atkin, 2004;Snyder, Milici, Slater, Sun, & Strizhakova, 2006). Current evidence suggests that alcohol advertising exposure is high among Australian youth (Jones & Magee, 2011;King, Taylor, & Carroll, 2005;Pettigrew, Roberts, Pescud, Chapman, Quester, & Miller, 2012). This may be due in part to advertising channels expanding beyond traditional forms (such as broadcast, print) to newer advertising platforms such as digital and social media. ...
Purpose: To measure associations between exposure to alcohol advertising and drinking behaviors among secondary students in Victoria, Australia.Methods: Students aged 12–17 years completing a cross-sectional survey in 2011 (n = 4,413) indicated their exposure to alcohol advertising via multiple media channels. Students also indicated whether they had consumed alcohol in the past month and the number of alcoholic drinks consumed on each of the seven days preceding the survey. Students drinking five or more drinks on one of these seven days were classified as ‘risky drinkers’. Logistic regression analyses examined associations between exposure to alcohol advertising media and alcohol consumption measures, controlling for student-level demographic variables.Results: Exposure to alcohol advertising was most common through television (58%), alcohol branded merchandise (42%), and the internet (39%). After controlling for other advertising exposure measures, weekly exposure to alcohol advertising via billboards/newspapers/magazines and ownership of at least one alcohol branded item was significantly associated with consuming alcohol in the past month and at risky levels.Conclusions: Findings show high exposure to alcohol advertising among Australian youth and associations with drinking behaviors, suggesting the need for increased regulation of alcohol advertising across traditional and non-traditional media.
... Alcohol companies are quick to claim that they are not targeting young people with this strategy, and they point to a voluntary industry code that prohibits this (the Alcohol Beverages Advertising Code, Advertising Federation of Australia, 2004). This has been questioned repeatedly in academic and popular literature as well as by governments (King et al, 2005). The secondary benefit associated with the special rules around sports advertising allows a sponsor to overlook scandal to retain this advantage. ...
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Scandal has become an increasingly prominent sports phenomenon. All major sports competitions around the globe face scandals on a continuing basis; however, there is little research about the nature of scandal and its impacts on consumer behaviour. Drawing on the extant sports consumption literature, we develop a conceptual model of scandal and its impacts on sports consumption activities (ticket sales, viewership, merchandise sales). We then extend this model through examples of a sport scandal to propose the major dimensions of the scandal construct. Our goal in this paper is to develop a conceptual framework that is useful for future research of the scandal-consumption relationship.
... Alcohol companies are quick to claim that they are not targeting young people with this strategy, and they point to a voluntary industry code that prohibits this (the Alcohol Beverages Advertising Code, Advertising Federation of Australia, 2004). This has been questioned repeatedly in academic and popular literature as well as by governments (King et al, 2005). The secondary benefit associated with the special rules around sports advertising allows a sponsor to overlook scandal to retain this advantage. ...
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Why has the reporting of scandal in sport been increasing? This paper focuses on the commercialisation of sport and changes in the media landscape. A case study of the Australian Rugby League competition and its long-running series of scandals concludes that scandal is inevitable in sport, and that marketing strategies must incorporate this. The authors propose a new strategy-embracement-as an effective way of mitigating scandal and leveraging for sponsor market position.
... While the above definitions are standard in the advertising research world, they are often new to public health researchers, and care must be taken in their use. For instance, King et al. (2005) published a significant contribution to the debate over alcohol marketing and youth in Australia. However, they defined a target audience rating point as 'an indication of the proportion of a specific demographic group who are potentially exposed to a television advertisement'. ...
In the wake of increasing evidence that youth exposure to alcohol marketing is a risk factor in underage drinking, public health researchers are trying a variety of methods to measure that exposure. Based on lessons learned from more than 20 reports on exposure produced by the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth, best practices in data sources, definitions of terms and specific measurement issues such as census versus sampling, identifying the at-risk population and performing basic calculations of gross rating points (GRPs) and GRP ratios are reviewed, using examples from work of the Center and other public health researchers. Specific recommendations for best practices in calculating and reporting exposure metrics are provided, including how to measure and report trends, differentiating between audit and planning perspectives and the importance of measuring exposure at both the category and the brand level. These recommendations are relevant not only to the monitoring of youth exposure to alcohol marketing, but also exposure to marketing for other potentially harmful products such as foods of low nutritional value, tobacco and pharmaceutical drugs. Copyright
... For example, a recent Australian study, commissioned by the Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing, analysed exposure to alcohol advertising via metropolitan free-to-air TV in Sydney and Melbourne, and found that exposure among 13-17 year olds was only slightly less than among 18-29 year olds (almost 90%). Importantly, the authors also cautioned that, while there are no data on exposure via subscription TV, we know that 32% of 13-17 year olds have access and that these young people spend more time watching subscription TV than free-to-air; and there are currently no restrictions on alcohol advertising on subscription TV (King et al., 2005). Winter et al. (2008) reported that, from March 2005to February 2006 in Sydney were exposed to the same amount of alcohol advertising on free-to-air television as young adults (18-24 years), and children (0-12 years) were exposed to almost half as much alcohol advertising as teenagers. ...
Underage drinking is a major problem in Australia and may be influenced by exposure to alcohol advertising. The objective of the present study was to collect data on 12-17 year old Australian adolescents' exposure to different types of alcohol advertising and examine the association between exposure to advertising and alcohol consumption. A cross-sectional survey of 1113 adolescents aged 12-17 years recruited with a variety of methods to gain a cross-section of participants across metropolitan, regional and rural New South Wales (including independent schools, mall intercepts and online). Participants answered a series of questions assessing adolescents' exposure to alcohol advertising across eight media (including television, Internet and point-of-sale). Alcohol consumption was assessed using three questions (initiation, recent consumption and frequency of consumption in the previous 12 months). The majority indicated that they had been exposed to alcohol advertisements on television, in newspapers and magazines, on the Internet, on billboards/posters and promotional materials and in bottleshops, bars and pubs; exposure to some of these types of alcohol advertisements was associated with increased alcohol consumption, with differences by age and gender. The results are consistent with studies from other countries and suggest that exposure to alcohol advertisements among Australian adolescents is strongly associated with drinking patterns. Given current high levels of drinking among Australian youth, these findings suggest the need to address the high levels of young people's exposure to alcohol advertising.
This article introduces the new Australian Alcohol Advertising Review Board (AARB) Code and assesses television advertising practices against its advertising content provisions. The Code is administered by independent experts to provide an alternative to the industry-led Alcohol Beverages Advertising Code Scheme that has attracted substantial criticism. The new Code aims to balance the alcohol industry's right to promote a legal product against critical protections for young people and public health. To assess whether the new Code will require substantial changes to alcohol advertising practices, a content analysis was conducted of alcohol advertisements aired prior to its introduction on all four free-to-air commercial television channels over two months. A majority of the analysed advertisements (48 of 64) contained at least one element that could be construed as a breach of the AARB Code. The largest numbers of potential breaches were for the provisions relating to the association of alcohol with success and using appeals that are likely to be attractive to young people. The results demonstrate that the Australian alcohol industry will need to reassess current advertising practices to achieve compliance with the new Code. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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This article reports the extent to which children (0-12 years) and teenagers below the legal drinking age in Australia (13-17 years) were exposed to alcohol advertising on free-to-air television in Sydney, Australia, during the period from March 2005 to February 2006. Exposure levels were obtained from weekly Target Audience Rating Points (TARPs) data generated by OzTAM, the official Australian television audience monitoring system. (The TARPs figure for an advertisement is calculated based on the number of individuals from a target audience [e.g., 13- to 17-year-olds] exposed to the ad as a proportion of the total number of individuals within the target audience, multiplied by 100). Exposure levels were obtained for four age groups-up to 12 years, 13-17 years, 18-24 years, and 25 years and older-for 156 different ads for 50 brands. Adults 25 years and older were most exposed to alcohol advertising: approximately 660 TARPs per week. The level to which underage teenagers (13-17 years) were exposed to alcohol advertising was virtually identical to that of young adults (18-24 years): 426 TARPs per week vs 429 TARPs per week. Children (0-12 years) were exposed to approximately one in every three alcohol ads seen on average by mature adults (ages 25 years and older). This study found that Australian children and teenagers below the legal drinking age currently are exposed to unacceptably high levels of alcohol advertising on television. These findings suggest that alcohol marketers may be deliberately targeting underage adolescents. At the very least the findings highlight the need for action to be taken to reduce levels to which underage Australians are exposed to alcohol advertising on television.
Binge drinking is a major public health issue in Australia, particularly among young people. There has been a considerable focus on alcohol advertising, among both researchers and policy makers, resulting in efforts to bring about some level of regulation of unacceptable advertising practices. However - despite the existence of a Code of Practice for Responsible Promotion of Liquor Products which provides 'a framework of practices which are considered acceptable and reasonable' for licensed premises - there are few, if any, data on the nature and extent of promotions which could arguably fall under either 'acceptable' or 'unacceptable' practices. Over an 8-week period we monitored promotions offered by licensed venues (pubs, bars and clubs) in the Wollongong central area. Seventeen venues were identified, and each venue was visited daily for 1 week. Trained research assistants took notes on all promotions/events in visited venues, including both manufacturer- and management-initiated. We identified a range of different types of promotions, including low cost and free drinks. Some of the promotions identified could be seen to have a positive public health impact, such as free food and free transport. However, the majority of promotions were of a nature likely to increase the likelihood of excessive drinking. It is evident from this review that there are numerous examples of promotions which breach both the spirit and the letter of the Code. It is equally evident that the system for monitoring compliance with the Code is fundamentally inadequate.
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Alcohol: No ordinary commodity
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