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‘‘She encourages people to drink’’: A qualitative study of the use of females to promote beer in Nigerian Institutions of Learning

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Abstract

Background: University students engage in heavy alcohol consumption and one factor that facilitates their alcohol use is alcohol marketing. Diverse sophisticated sales promotion strategies are used by multinational alcohol industries in Nigeria, and no policies to regulate alcohol promotion exist. This study explores the marketing strategy of using female students to promote beer in bars, nightclubs and hotels and how it facilitates alcohol use amongst students. Methods: Thirty-one in-depth interviews were conducted with university students (aged 19-23 years). The data were analysed to generate themes with the aid of NVivo 10 software. Results: The results show that female students identified as ‘beautiful’ are strategically employed to promote beer brands in bars, nightclubs and other drinking sites. Beer promotion involves socialising in bars and persuading customers to buy more alcohol. Women agree to promote beer due to the commission that they are paid within a short time period. However, promoting beer creates different levels of risk for beer promoters. Beer promoters may be pressured into unwanted relationships because purchasing beer, for some men, constitutes the first step toward initiating a relationship with them. Their male customers are also at risk because they may drink large quantities of alcohol, either to gain the approval of a beer promoter in the hope of a relationship or to win prizes, such as free drinks and other branded paraphernalia that accompany beer promotion. Conclusions: The findings suggest that using women to promote beer facilitates their exploitation and also contributes to the growing alcohol-related problems in Nigeria. Effective written national alcohol control policies that regulate alcohol promotion should be formulated and implemented in Nigeria.
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‘‘She encourages people to drink’’: A qualitative study of the use of females
to promote beer in Nigerian Institutions of Learning
Author: Dr EW Dumbili (Brunel University London)
Emeka.dumbili@brunel.ac.uk
Journal: Drugs: Education, Prevention & Policy
Volume: 23, Issue: 4 Page: 337-343
DOI: 10.3109/09687637.2015.1119246
Note: The published version of this article may vary from this version.
To access the published version, see
http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.3109/09687637.2015.1119246
Aims: University s tudents engage in heavy alcohol consumption and one factor that
facilitates their alcohol use is alcohol marketing. Diverse sophisticated promotional
strategies are used by transnational alcohol industries in Nigeria, and no policies to regulate
alcohol promotion exist. This s tudy explores the marketing strategy of using female students
to promote beer in bars, nightclubs and hotels.
Methods: Thirty-one in-depth interviews were conducted with university students (aged 19-
23 years). The data were analysed to generate themes with the aid of NVivo 10 software.
Results: The results show that female s tudents identified as ‘beautiful’ are strategically
employed to promote beer brands in bars, nig htclubs and other drinking sites. Beer
promotion involves socialising in bars and persuading customers to buy more alcohol.
Women agree to promote beer due to the commission that they are paid within a short
time period. However, promoting beer creates different levels of risk for beer promoters.
Beer promoters may be pres sured into unwanted relationships because purchasing beer, for
some men, constitutes the first step toward initiating a relationship with them. Their male
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customers are also at risk because they may drink large quantities of alcohol, either to gain
the approval of a beer promoter in the hope of a relationship or to win prizes, s uch as free
drinks and other branded paraphernalia that accompanies beer promotion.
Conclusions: The finding s suggest that us ing women to promote beer creates opportunities
for their exploitation and also contributes to growing alcohol-related problems in Nigeria.
Effective national alcohol control policies that regulate alcohol promotion should be
formulated and implemented in Nigeria.
Keywords: Alcohol promotion, beer promoters, Nigeria, university students, women
Introduction
Transnational alcohol industries are concentrating their activities in the emerging markets of
Africa. In many African countries, global alcohol producers employ sophisticated strategies
to sell their brands to target groups (Jernigan & Babor, 2015; Swahn, Palmier, & Kasirye,
2013). In Nigeria, transnational alcohol industries operate either independently or in
partnership with other companies. While some of these companies (e.g., Nig erian
Breweries/Heineken and Guinness Nigeria) have existed for over 50 years, others such as
SABMiller and Tradall SA are fairly new. Due to the stiff competition to gain and/or maintain
brand followership between these companies, they employ different sophisticated
marketing (advertising, promotion, and corporate social responsibility) strategies (De Bruijn,
2011; Dumbili, 2014; Obot, 2013). While some of these marketing practices are regulated by
federal laws, others are not: there are no laws or policies on alcohol promotion in Nigeria
(World Health Organization, 2014).
This exploratory s tudy examines the strateg y of using female students as ‘beer
promoters1 in Nigeria. The article focuses on how beer promotion is performed, the s ites
1Beer pr omoter s a re peopl e who work in bars, hotels, restaurants, nightclubs , eateries, etc., sell ing beer or
publi cising promotional programmes or activities. They are contracted by alcohol compani es or marketers and
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where beer brands are promoted and why women are us ed as beer promoters. This is
imperative because while beer, gin, rum and other similar beverages are categorised as
men’s alcoholic beveragesin Nigeria, sweetened drinks are s aid to be women’s alcohol’
(Dumbili, 2015a). Some women are beginning to consume alcohol categorised as men’s, and
some are ques tioning the rationale for discriminating against women who drink these men’s
beverages; yet research shows that women who consume beer are termed ‘feckless’ by
their peers (Dumbili, 2015a). Again, through the lenses of informal structures, spaces such
as bars, restaurants, hotels and other public drinking sites are seen as men’s spaces, and
women who occupy them are said to be transgressors of femininity (Dumbili, 2015a).
Therefore, the rationale for using women to promote beer brands (that the s ociety will not
permit them to drink) in sites that are categorised as men’s, demands empirical
investigation.
Additionally, while a few studies have documented alcohol advertising in Nigeria
(e.g., de Bruijin, Ferreira-Borges, Engels, & Bhavsar, 2014; Obot & Ibanga, 2002), there is a
dearth of empirical studies on alcohol promotion. Also, to my knowledge, no study has
examined the use of females to promote alcohol in Africa (where alcohol marketing is either
not regulated at all or regulated with ineffective policies). The remainder of the article is
divided into four sections. The following section reviews s tudies that investigated the us e of
women to promote beer. This is followed by the study’s methodology. Next, the results are
presented while the following section discus s es the finding s.
The use of females to promote alcohol
Internationally, the practice and strategy of using females to promote beer have not
attracted scholarly attention except in the Asian continent (e.g., Lubek, 2005; van der Putten
& Feilzer, 2011; Webber, Spitzer, Somrongthong, Dat, & Kounnavongs a, 2015). In countries
thei r pa yment i s in the form of commis sions . Thi s commiss ion is bas ed on the number of bottl es, cans or crates
of beer they sell duri ng a s pecifi ed period.
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such as Cambodia, China, Thailand, and Laos, etc., evidence shows that young women are
used as beer promoters (Webber, Spitzer, Somrongthong, Dat, & Kounnavongs a, 2012).
In thes e countries, the practice of promoting beer involves visiting drinking spaces
such as bars, hotels , restaurants, and ‘‘beer gardens’’ to sell beer brands to customers who
are mostl y men (Kim et al., 2005; Lubek, 2005 p.2). Lubek (2005) reveals that transnational
alcohol companies provide these female promoters with uniforms of the beer brands that
they promote, making it easier for customers to identify them. Also, they are trained and
ins tructed to socialise with buyers becaus e this will increase the chances of making more
sales (Kim et al., 2005). Research shows that their salaries are poor (Kim et al., 2005) while
their bonuses hinge on the quantity of beers that they sell (Kim et al., 2005; Lubek, 2005
p.2) an arrangement that facilitates their exploitation (Ol, 2011; van der Putten & Feilzer,
2011).
For example, beer promoters engage in sexual activities with men in a bid to make
extra income to supplement their low payment (Kim et al., 2005). Additionally, some
customers buy beer brands on the condition that beer promoters will engage in sexual
activities with them while others are raped or abused by drunken cus tomers (van der
Putten, 2011). In s ome cas es, the consequences of this is contraction of HIV and other
sexually transmitted diseases (Kim et al., 2005), and some have subsequently died from
AIDS (Lubek, 2005). Ma ny beer promoters cannot access quality medical treatment due to
their inability to pay, or because of stigmatization attached to the job, as beer promoters
may be reg arded as indirect s ex workers (Webber et al., 2012; Webber et al., 2015).
Methods
This Project and Procedure
The article draws on a recently concluded doctoral study exploring the interplay between
young people’s media consumption and alcohol use, the role of alcohol marketing in
students’ drinking behaviour and the gendering of alcohol. I have drawn upon the data sets
to produce works focusing on alcohol consumption and the cons truction of social identity
(Dumbili, 2015a), and alcohol consumption and g endered sexual behaviour (under review).
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This article focuses on the second objective which is the role alcohol marketing plays in
students’ drinking behaviour. The study was conducted on a university campus located in a
city of Anambra State, south-eastern Nigeria. The Office of the Dean of Students’ Affairs of
the Nigerian university and the Brunel University London Ethics Board approved the study
before I collected data between September and December 2013.
The participants were recruited from across nine faculties on the university campus
using a word-of-mouth approach and snowball sampling. These were particularly successful
methods of recruitment in relation to female participants. Alcohol consumption among
young people is a sensitive topic in Nigeria. Young people, especially females, are often
reluctant to participate in studies and reaching them through any means that may expose
their identity will hinder their participation. The difficulties of recruiting willing participants,
which I encountered during the pilot studies, necessitated the adoption of these processes.
Participants, interviews and data analysis
Thi rty-one in-depth interviews lasting approximately 33-90 minutes were conducted with 22
male and nine female undergraduate students, aged 19-23 years. The interviews were
recorded with a digital device with the permission of the participants. It is worth highlighting
that no incentive was given to the participants ; this was to ensure voluntary participation.
Als o, the names used in the results s ection are not participants real names.
The interviews were transcribed verbatim, and a thematic analysis was undertaken
to identify rich and detailed patterns of meaning in the data s et (Braun & Clarke, 2006).
Because Silverman (2011) has advised that one of the ways to guarantee quality and timely
analysis is to begin early, I initiated the preliminary analysis immediately after the first
interview was conducted. Here, I read and re-read the notes that I had taken during the
interview and lis tened to the audio to check for accuracy. This provided an opportunity to
identify new areas to probe and explore further in the subsequent interviews. It als o helped
me to write down some tentative coding schemes (Braun & Clarke, 2006). Following this, I
transcribed the first interview. As the audiotape was being trans cribed, I began to categorise
the initial extracts into broad themes and subthemes. This process was repeated for the
next six interviews. Additionally, because it was imperative to assess my initial thoughts and
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ideas about my coding, some academic colleagues read and commented on the interviews
and the preliminary analysis. Thes e processes turned out to be very us eful because they
assisted me in obtaining an early grasp of my data (Morse, 2012) and some of thes e
subthemes, grouped manually, became the parent nodes, while others were condensed
(Saldaña, 2012) into different child nodes when the transcripts were imported into Nvivo 10
for further analysis.
When all 31 interviews had been transcribed, I read the transcripts several times ,
crosschecking and reconciling them with the audio recordings before importing them into
Nvivo 10. Following this , I conducted a number of queries , the first of which was a word
frequency query to gain an ins ight into words most frequently us ed by the participants and
how this could help in understanding the patterns within the whole data set. It also helped
me to further code the data easily. When the coding was completed, I read the nodes
thoroughly to identify incompatible quotes. Through these means, I was able to condense or
expand such quotes into the existing child nodes or create new nodes before running matrix
coding queries. At the end of the matrix queries, I exported the nodes to the word
document and read them several times. Here, I did s ome comparison with themes that had
been generated manually before writing down the patterns of meaning from the themes
that had been identified.
Results
Women beer promoters and why they work as promoters
I began by exploring participants general knowledge of alcohol promotion on campus. Here,
both male and female participants recalled that alcohol promotion is ubiquitous on and
around this university campus. The participants reported that promotional activities such as
‘‘buy-two-get-one-free’’, ‘‘buy-and-win-prizes’’ such as cars, cash, television sets, mobile
phones, free drinks and the type that involves a price reduction are popular in bars,
nightclubs, hotels and restaurant around this campus.
When the question on who actually promotes the beer brands in these bars,
nightclubs or hotels was asked, a vast majority of bar-attending patrons argued that young
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and beautiful female students are used as beer promoters. A self-confes sed regular bar
patron revealed that these female students wear branded uniforms and pos ition themselves
in s trategic places within the bars. He recalled that beer promoters often use well-known
bars and the reason why can be understood from his account:
…When you walk into a bar, not all bars but well-known bars where people go
all the time, you might see a lady wearing a shirt bearing Star [beer] and
another lady wearing the one of Harp [beer]. You might be sitting, and they
walk up to you and ask you what you want. When you tell them that you want
Star [beer], they will tell you that there is a promo going on where you buy
two bottles of Star [beer], and you get one free and under the crown cock
you’ll also win a T-shirt… (Edulim, 23 years, male)
A female s tudent who had applied to work as a beer promoter also shared her experience.
What is interesting from her account is how she revealed that the s trategy of us ing females
to promote beer is popular around this campus and in the city where the university is
located:
I was supposed to be a part of the marketing experience some time ago… It
was all about advertising their products to people in ‘beer parlours’ [bars].
(Pretty, 23 years, female)
Interviewer: Can you shed more light on how it is done in thes e beer parlours?
…What you do is to tell people what your products can offer them [the
benefits of the brand]. You make it sound better than other products, and
when they buy it, you give them gifts [prizes] like umbrellas, T-shirts and stuff
like that. And they sell it at cheaper rates. It is a very popular thing; you see
students dressed up in their T-shirts. It is either this company or another that is
advertising their products. (Pretty, 23 years, female)
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She als o shed light on the fact that alcohol industries provide these promoters with branded
paraphernalia (e.g., T-shirt, caps, glassware, etc.) and free dri nks, which they give to
customers who buy beer from them, with the aim of encouraging more purchas es. A similar
account that revealed that beer promoters give away prizes was shared by another female
participant:
When you go to beer parlour [bars] and you wanna drink, you’ll see them
wearing T-shirt; they will come and meet you and say hello… They will tell you
that when you buy two bottles, they will give you one free. Even Guilder
[beer], Heineken and Hero [beer] do it. (Agatha, 21 years, female)
It is worthy to note that none of the female participants in this study consumes beer.
Although some of them did reveal that they consume sweetened female-friendly alcoholic
beverages, they reported that drinking beer is unfeminine.
When I asked the participants to explain the reason why female students (who will
not drink beer) agree to promote beer brands, the reas on was explained:
Students do it often because of the quick cash they can get from it... If you go
down to [name of promotion site], you will see students dressed in polo [T-
shirts], advertising one product or another… You can do it within the space of
six weeks, and you will be paid. (Pretty, 23 years, female)
The use of women as beer promoters was also expressed by Chioma (21 years, female), a
self-confessed ex-promoter. She shared her experience which shows that alcohol producers
regularly us e women to market alcohol in this city. When I as ked her whether or not she
had accepted the offer to promote alcohol, she s aid: ‘‘…I was one of their ushers when they
did their promotion in [name of city]’’. She revealed that getting a job to promote beer is
highly competitive becaus e alcohol companies employ only a few promoters. On how she
got the job, she recalled that her female friend who also worked as a promoter introduced
her to the company’s manager. Following this, I asked her why she agreed to promote
alcohol, and s he added that it was becaus e of ‘‘the money’’ she was expected to make
within a short time. An additional account was provided by Las to support the fact that
female students are used to create brand awareness or to promote different products:
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They have all these agents who will equally be fellow students. They dress up
in their attire, but they are fellow students; they kind of approach people and
since you are a student like them, they will use the familiarity to sell their
products to you. (Las, 21 years, male)
Females are used to attract men to buy beer
When I probed further to understand why females (as oppos ed to men who drink beer) are
used to promote alcohol on and around this campus and why men patronise them, the male
participants revealed that beautiful young females are employed because they attract men
to buy alcohol:
They usually use girls because the personality talking to you can attract you to
buy a product. They use fine [beautiful] girls and because of youthful
exuberance [boys patronise them]. When you see a fine girl putting on a T-
shirt and a face cap, the way she will talk to you will make you buy drinks
rather than when an old woman [approaches you]… Attractive girls are used to
get men to buy their products. It’s a promo tactic. (Levin, 21 years, male)
Another participant also provided other interrelated reasons why young females, especially
students, are used as beer promoters. He revealed how this s trategy could encourage not
just drinking but other motives, one of which is sexual negotiation:
It can affect drinking because if an old person comes and starts telling you that
this drink is good for your health, you will… say, please forget it. But when you
see a fellow youth like you… who comes as a marketer and tells you that ‘I
have this drink, if you drink two bottles you are going to get a prize’, the guys
may be carried away because when you talk of alcohol there is this ‘feeling and
expectation. Another reason is that if you hang out as guys do, maybe you see
a lady selling drinks, some guys will buy her products in order to get into
rapport with the girl. (Las, 21 years, male)
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Las also shed light on why students patronis e their fellow s tudents, and this may be one of
the reasons why students are used to promote beer on and around this campus:
…Because young people who are selling it are your fellow students, you see it
as no problem to buy it either because you know the person, or you want the
person to make sales. (Las, 21 years, male)
As he explained, students prefer to patronis e a fellow student. It could be considered that
this is largely due to s tudent unionism that is very popular on Nigerian campuses. It appears
they crave to maintain solidarity (because young people who are selling it are your fellow
students) and the fact that they know that the student-promoter will need the commis s ion,
encourages their patronage. This may be another reas on why employers use s tudents as
beer promoters.
Beer promoters encourage people to drink more alcohol
The participants also explained that the use of these female promoters encourages people
to drink more alcohol than they would drink on a normal occas ion. For example, Chike
reflected on his recent experience with thes e beer promoters and how it made him and his
friends cons ume more alcohol than they had intended:
…Last two months, one of my friends decided to take us out to drink. We were
supposed to actually get Star and Hero [beers] but a lady approached us and
was like, ‘do you want to buy beer?’ And we were like, ‘we are already buying.
She said that she was from Legend stout and that she was doing a promo of
‘buy-two-get-one-free’. We were six guys, and the six of us had planned to
have an average of two bottles each. So, everybody changed immediately [to
Legend]. Everyone said, ‘we’ll have two bottles of Legend’, and they gave us
one more bottle each too. And then everyone actually drank three bottles
instead of two. (Chike, 21 years, male)
An interesting part of this practice of using females to promote alcohol is that the majority
of bar patrons revealed that at least once, this strateg y has resulted in them drinking more
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than they had planned to. Levin, for instance, stressed that these promoters have the ability
to persuade people to drink or to consume more alcohol, and his views are in tandem with
Dozie’s :
Alcohol promotion is booming here on this campus. Just recently, a friend of
mine actually [became a promoter]. She is working for Star beer. (Dozie, 23
years, male)
Interviewer: Okay, is this your friend a student?
Yes, she is a student... Actually, what she does is that she encourages people
to drink, and if you drink two bottles, you can win a prize like key holders,
pens, free drinks, cap, T-shirt, etc. (Dozie, 23 years, male)
As these accounts show, it can be inferred that thes e beer promoters are trained to
socialise, encourage or persuade people to drink more than they planned before going to a
bar, and this is likely because their commis s ion depends on how many bottles, cans or
crates of beer they sell (Lubek, 2005). The female’s accounts also revealed that these
promoters pers uade not only men but women who visit bars to drink more:
…I wanted to drink one bottle, but the girl came to me and said: ‘if you drink
two bottles you’ll have a gift’ [a prize], so I was moved. I asked her, ‘what is
the gift?’ She just said that I should drink the two bottles and have a gift. I
ended up drinking the two bottles and to my surprise she gave me a gift, but it
was just a band [laughs]. It was a hand band, so I was like, ‘this is not the gift’
[I expected]. She just wanted to make her sales of which she did. She even
made me drink above my plan. (Chimanda, 22 years, female)
As these foregoing accounts have revealed, female students are used to promote diverse
beer brands on and around this campus and this (in combination with different promotions
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such as buy-two-get-one-free) encourages people to drink, or drink more than they had
planned. This may be one of the reasons why thes e females are used to promote beers in
this city.
Discussion
This study is the first attempt to explore the use of women to promote beer in Nigeria, and
the res ults confirmed and contributed to the findings of previous research. The s tudy found
that young women are used to promote beer on this campus and the surrounding bars,
nightclubs and hotels. This confirms Webber et al.'s (2015) finding s among Thai beer
promoters. An unexpected aspect of this particular result suggests that to be employed as a
beer promoter requires physical beauty or attractiveness, and the reason may be to draw
the attention of male patrons. This marketing strategy of using attractive females as beer
promoters creates and reaffirms particular social meanings about beer in Nigeria: it
sexualises beer (i.e., men equate it with attractive women), and it reaffirms beer drinking as
something that heterosexual men 'should do'. In fact, beer drinking thus becomes a
masculine, heterosexual practice.
As Lubek (2005) reported, to be identified eas ily and also to distinguish each
company and their brands , these Nigerian women are clothed with uniforms that reflect the
beer brands they promote. This is a sophis ticated marketing strategy because it not only
differentiates these beer promoters from other women who may be present in such bars or
nightclub, but it also serves as an advertising strategy. (i.e., branded uniforms help to
advertis e the brands that they promote). As such, beer promoters may be regarded as
walking billboards.
The data also provide other interesting revelations by s howing the reason why
female students agree to be used to promote beer: to make quick cash. Although this study
did not explore how much Nigerian beer promoters are paid, previous research s hows that
beer promoters are underpaid and exploited (Ol, 2011; van der Putten & Feilzer, 2011). One
of the reasons for this exploitation is that their payment is determined by their sales (Ki m et
al., 2005; Lubek, 2005). Despite the fact that Nigeria is an oil-producing country, the rate of
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poverty is high and social support is not available. As Lubek (2005) reported that Asian
women from poor background work as beer promoters, this arguably is one of the reas ons
why these female s tudents agree to promote beer brands . This supports Ruddock's (2012
p.63) assertion that while to be used as a salesgirl or marketer is one of the ‘‘choices women
in Western nations freely make, such is ‘‘forced on others in developing world, who must
respond to neo-liberal demands ’ due to a dearth of economic res ources.
Women beer promoters also encourage customers to cons ume more alcohol, and
this is to make more sales. In each bar or other drinking spaces, there is a social competition
among beer promoters. One of the reasons is because those who sell more will receive
higher commission, in that their payment is bas ed on the quantity they sell. Another reason
is that becaus e beer promoters work for different alcohol companies, they must compete to
sell their companies’ brands and gain their share of the market. This may encourage these
females to socialise or even flirt with patrons so as to make higher sales and gain brand
followership as found by Kim et al. (2005). Similarly, these beer promoters may be
pressured into unwanted relations hips or coerced s exual activities (Webber & Spitzer,
2010). As Lee et al.'s (2010) results show, this current s tudy found that buying beer from
these women is, f or some men, the first s tep toward establishing a rapport that may lead to
a relationship with a promoter. Thus , beer promoters are at risk of workplace harm or
sexual assaults that may not be reported to the police due to the stigma attached to s uch in
Nigeria (Fawole, Ajuwon, Osung bade, & Faweya, 2002).
As earlier noted, Nigeria is a patriarchal society where men’s and women’s spaces
are clearly differentiated. Dumbili (2015a) revealed that men do not consider the act of
drinking beer or occupying spaces such as bars, nightclubs, hotels and other similar public
sites as appropriate feminine gender behaviour. Thus, the use of women to promote beers
in these spaces reveals a double s tandard practice and s hows how women are exploited in
contemporary Nigeria by alcohol producers.
One of the implications of this practice is that men may belittle these female alcohol
promoters who work in bars. Des pite the fact that young girls (mainly uneducated or
secondary school leavers) are used as salesgirls in some eateries or restaurants in Nigeria,
females who work or are regularly s een in bars, restaurants, hotels, and similar places are
14
often disrespected or labelled ‘‘drinkers , wild or irresponsible’’ (Dumbili, 2015a). This is not
unconnected with the notion of respectable femininity (women are not suppos ed to be seen
in places where men always gather) that are prevalent in Nigeria (Dumbili, 2015a). This is
why Ikuesan (1994) notes that the fate of such women (and their female siblings who may
not use alcohol) hangs in the balance in terms of attracting a suitor.
In fact, as the use of women to promote beer creates risks for female promoters, her
customers are at risk too. This is because drinking more alcohol because of the unrealistic
fantasies propagated to sell drinks (e.g., drink and win a prize) expos es the drinker to
alcohol-related problems. Second, buying alcohol just to initiate a rapport with a female
promoter (i.e., to satisfy the female promoter in order to initiate a relationship) may
necessitate that the customer drinks a large quantity of alcohol within a short time. Here,
binge drinking is inevitable, especially because in Nigeria, beer is sold in terms of liquid
content only. That is, someone who buys a bottle of beer, for instance, buys only the liquid
content and cannot go away with the bottles (unless the seller agrees to collect money as
collateral Dumbili, 2015b)).
Additionally, unlike what occurs in most development countries where beer is s old in
standardised glasses, beers are sold in bottles (and more recently, in cans) in Nigeria
(Dumbili, 2015b). Thus, every bottle of beer bought must be consumed at the point of
purchase so that the seller can retrieve the bottles). Because these beer promoters also
promote free drinks (e.g., buy-two-and-get-one-free) and other prizes , the chances of
drinking many bottles to win a prize are increased. Again, this may expose customers to
alcohol-related problems that are associated with heavy alcohol consumption. Therefore,
alcohol promotion and the strategy of using females to promote beer brands contribute to
the rising alcohol-related problems among young people in Nigeria (World Health
Organization, 2014).
This exploratory study has several limitations. First, it focused on one campus and
did not examine other universities that are located either in the region where this study was
conducted or in other regions of Nigeria. Nigeria is a multi-ethnic and religious country.
Thus, these diversities may mediate women’s acceptance or rejection to be used as beer
promoters in other regions. Another shortcoming is that it did not elicit data from many
15
women, and particularly beer promoting women, in that some females that were
approached during the fieldwork rejected the invitation to participate (due to the sens itive
nature of this research). Similarly, the study only relied on interviews with the participants
and did not obs erve the activities of beer promoters or their customers at drinking s ites.
Des pite these limitations , the study has attempted to document how contemporary alcohol
marketing strategies create risks for young women and their customers in Nigeria.
It appears that because there are no policies or laws to regulate alcohol promotion
in Nigeria (World Health Organization, 2014), alcohol producers may be engag ing in
activities that contravene international standards. Therefore, there is a need to formulate
and implement comprehens ive alcohol control policies that regulate promotional activities
in Nigeria. Effective alcohol control policies are necessary to protect these females from
workplace harm. This will also help to prevent experiences similar to the Asian beer
promoters who contracted and died of sexually transmitted infections because they were
pres s ured to work as indirect sex workers (i.e., non-brothel based sex workers). There is a
need to build on this res earch. Studies that will help to reveal the terms and conditions of
beer promoters’ contracts are needed. This will help to facilitate policy formulation that will
protect beer promoters in Nigeria. Also, future research that will focus on the risks (social
and health) or harm associated with the job of promoting beer brands is needed. In
summary, the findings of this s tudy have provided a lens through which us eful interventions
on alcohol promotion and its effects on young people can be implemented in Nigeria.
16
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... While a growing number of studies have been conducted on women beer promoters in Asia, we identified only two studies in Sub-Saharan Africa (Dumbili, 2016;van Beemen, 2019). In Eastern Nigeria, Dumbili (2016) reported that alcohol companies and their representatives employ female university students as promoters. ...
... While a growing number of studies have been conducted on women beer promoters in Asia, we identified only two studies in Sub-Saharan Africa (Dumbili, 2016;van Beemen, 2019). In Eastern Nigeria, Dumbili (2016) reported that alcohol companies and their representatives employ female university students as promoters. The study further showed that physical beauty is a criterion to be employed, and while beer promoters socialise with male bar patrons to encourage them to buy more beer, some customers purchase their brands on the condition that they will accept a romantic relationship with them (Dumbili, 2016). ...
... In Eastern Nigeria, Dumbili (2016) reported that alcohol companies and their representatives employ female university students as promoters. The study further showed that physical beauty is a criterion to be employed, and while beer promoters socialise with male bar patrons to encourage them to buy more beer, some customers purchase their brands on the condition that they will accept a romantic relationship with them (Dumbili, 2016). In addition to sexual harassment, van Beemen's (2019) investigative journalism also reported similar findings regarding Heineken's marketing practice of using Beer Girls in Nigeria and six other African countries. ...
Article
Full-text available
The alcohol industry in Nigeria uses sophisticated marketing strategies to influence drinking, and alcohol marketing regulations do not exist. This study examined the alcohol industry's strategy of using young women to promote beer in Benin City, Nigeria, and how sexualized beer marketing, as precarious employment , creates a context of risk for sexual exploitation. We conducted interviews and focus groups with beer promoters and their patrons and analysed data thematically. Some of the criteria for recruiting beer promoters include confidence, physical beauty, intelligence, and outspokenness. Beer promoters narrated that young women are mainly employed to promote beer as a strategy to convince men to buy more alcohol. Beer promoters cited the relatively high salary as their motivation for accepting to promote beer but highlighted multiple risks associated with this precarious work. First, promoters close late at night, and no provisions are made for their transport to their homes. Second, most male customers perceive beer promoters as sex workers and thus, attempt to persuade them to spend the night with them. Third, promoters also face physical and sexual harassment through unwanted contact and advances and are instructed to condone such behaviours during training. This strategy 'sexualizes' beer marketing and exposes beer promoters to health and social risks because they may be coerced into unwanted relationships as a condition for some men to purchase their brands (or sell more and meet their targets). There is a need to implement alcohol policies in Nigeria and tailor responses to beer promoters' unique risks.
... While a growing number of studies have been conducted on women beer promoters in Asia, we identified only two studies in Sub-Saharan Africa (Dumbili, 2016;van Beemen, 2019). In Eastern Nigeria, Dumbili (2016) reported that alcohol companies and their representatives employ female university students as promoters. ...
... While a growing number of studies have been conducted on women beer promoters in Asia, we identified only two studies in Sub-Saharan Africa (Dumbili, 2016;van Beemen, 2019). In Eastern Nigeria, Dumbili (2016) reported that alcohol companies and their representatives employ female university students as promoters. The study further showed that physical beauty is a criterion to be employed, and while beer promoters socialise with male bar patrons to encourage them to buy more beer, some customers purchase their brands on the condition that they will accept a romantic relationship with them (Dumbili, 2016). ...
... In Eastern Nigeria, Dumbili (2016) reported that alcohol companies and their representatives employ female university students as promoters. The study further showed that physical beauty is a criterion to be employed, and while beer promoters socialise with male bar patrons to encourage them to buy more beer, some customers purchase their brands on the condition that they will accept a romantic relationship with them (Dumbili, 2016). In addition to sexual harassment, van Beemen's (2019) investigative journalism also reported similar findings regarding Heineken's marketing practice of using Beer Girls in Nigeria and other six African countries. ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Introduction The alcohol industry in Nigeria uses sophisticated marketing strategies to influence drinking, and alcohol marketing regulations do not exist. This study examined the alcohol industry's strategy of using young women to promote beer in Benin City, Nigeria, and how sexualized beer marketing, as precarious employment, creates a context of risk for sexual exploitation. Methods Interviews and focus groups were conducted with 72 young people (beer promoters and their patrons), and the data were analyzed thematically. Results To be recruited as a beer promoter, an applicant must be tall, slim, smart, confident, good-looking, intelligent, and outspoken. Promoters wear branded T-shirts and black trousers for easy identification in alcohol outlets. Outlet owners register with the drinks industry for promoters to be posted to their bars, but the drinks industry does recruitment and training. Beer promoters narrated that young women are mainly employed to promote beer as a strategy to convince men to buy more alcohol. Beer promoters cited the relatively high salary as their motivation for accepting to promote beer but highlighted multiple risks associated with this precarious work. First, promoters close late at night, and no provisions are made for their transport to their homes. Second, most male customers perceive beer promoters as prostitutes and thus, persuade them to spend the night with them. Promoters also face physical and sexual harassment through unwanted physical contact and advances and are instructed to condone such behaviours during training. Conclusion This strategy 'sexualizes' beer marketing and exposes beer promoters to health and social risks because they may be coerced into unwanted relationships as a condition for some men to purchase their brands (or sell more and meet their targets). There is a need not only to implement alcohol policies but also to tailor responses to beer promoters' unique risks.
... Fairly recently, alcohol companies began to use the Nigerian movie and hip-hop music industries in beer and spirits marketing [6]. Heineken has also been implicated in using 'beer girls' to promote beer brands in Nigeria [61] and nine other African countries [62]. While this particular strategy 'sexualises' beer marketing and consumption, it particularly exposes the 'beer girls' to health and social risks [61,62], because they are often coerced into unwanted relationships as a condition for some men to purchase their brands [61]. ...
... Heineken has also been implicated in using 'beer girls' to promote beer brands in Nigeria [61] and nine other African countries [62]. While this particular strategy 'sexualises' beer marketing and consumption, it particularly exposes the 'beer girls' to health and social risks [61,62], because they are often coerced into unwanted relationships as a condition for some men to purchase their brands [61]. ...
... Heineken has also been implicated in using 'beer girls' to promote beer brands in Nigeria [61] and nine other African countries [62]. While this particular strategy 'sexualises' beer marketing and consumption, it particularly exposes the 'beer girls' to health and social risks [61,62], because they are often coerced into unwanted relationships as a condition for some men to purchase their brands [61]. ...
Article
Issues Sub‐Saharan Africa (SSA) has long been characterised as a region with weak alcohol policies, high proportions of abstainers and heavy episodic drinkers (among drinkers), and as a target for market expansion by global alcohol producers. However, inter‐regional analyses of these issues are seldom conducted. Approach Focusing mainly on the period 2000–2016, we compare alcohol consumption and harms, alcohol policy developments and alcohol industry activities over time and across the four sub‐regions of SSA. Key Findings Per‐capita consumption of alcohol and alcohol‐related disease burden have increased in Central Africa but stabilised or reduced in other regions, although they are still high. Most countries have implemented tax policies, but they have seldom adopted other World Health Organization ‘best buys’ for cost‐effective alcohol control policies. Countries range from having minimal alcohol controls to having total bans (e.g. some Muslim‐majority countries); and some, such as Botswana, have attempted stringent tax policies to address alcohol harm. Alcohol producers have continued their aggressive marketing and policy interference activities, some of which have been highlighted and, in a few instances, resisted by civil society and public health advocates, particularly in southern Africa. Implications Increased government support and commitment are needed to be able to adopt and implement effective alcohol policies and respond to pressures from alcohol companies to which SSA remains a target market. Conclusion SSA needs effective alcohol control measures in order to reverse the trajectory of worsening alcohol harms observed in some countries and reinforce improvements in alcohol harms observed in others.
... In Nigeria, there is a dearth of empirical research on sales promotions, but available studies (mostly reviews and commentaries) show that alcohol marketing activities targeting young men and women (Obot, 2013), especially students (Dumbili, 2015a) are growing. In addition to being a part of the emerging markets, one other reason for the rising marketing activities is that alcohol companies are increasing in number in Nigeria. ...
... In addition to being a part of the emerging markets, one other reason for the rising marketing activities is that alcohol companies are increasing in number in Nigeria. For example, in addition to the multinational alcohol corporations (e.g., Nigerian Breweries/Heineken and ''Guinness Nigeria'') that have been operating in Nigeria before (or immediately after) Independence in 1960, other companies such as SABMiller and ''Tradall SA'' have recently established their businesses in the country (Dumbili, 2015a;Obot, 2013). ...
... Consequently, the volume of alcohol production is increasing (Jacks, 2014) and extreme competitions to gain and/or maintain brand followership amongst these companies have ensued, resulting in the burgeoning use of sophisticated strategies to sell their brands (de Bruijn, 2011;Dumbili, 2015a). Another reason is that Nigeria does not have written national alcohol control policies (WHO, 2014); thus, sales promotion is unregulated. ...
... In Nigeria, there is a dearth of empirical research on sales promotions, but available studies (mostly reviews and commentaries) show that alcohol marketing activities targeting young men and women (Obot, 2013), especially students (Dumbili, 2015a) are growing. In addition to being a part of the emerging markets, one other reason for the rising marketing activities is that alcohol companies are increasing in number in Nigeria. ...
... In addition to being a part of the emerging markets, one other reason for the rising marketing activities is that alcohol companies are increasing in number in Nigeria. For example, in addition to the multinational alcohol corporations (e.g., Nigerian Breweries/Heineken and ''Guinness Nigeria'') that have been operating in Nigeria before (or immediately after) Independence in 1960, other companies such as SABMiller and ''Tradall SA'' have recently established their businesses in the country (Dumbili, 2015a;Obot, 2013). ...
... Consequently, the volume of alcohol production is increasing (Jacks, 2014) and extreme competitions to gain and/or maintain brand followership amongst these companies have ensued, resulting in the burgeoning use of sophisticated strategies to sell their brands (de Bruijn, 2011;Dumbili, 2015a). Another reason is that Nigeria does not have written national alcohol control policies (WHO, 2014); thus, sales promotion is unregulated. ...
... Although the government recommended age at which alcohol can be purchased is 18 years, anybody can purchase alcohol in Nigeria because there is no effective means of proof of age (Dumbili, 2014). Due to this weak regulatory environment, alcohol companies have greater scope to engage in different promotional (Obot, 2013), ALCOHOL PROMOTION IN NIGERIA and other marketing activities (Dumbili & Williams, 2017;Dumbili, 2016b), many of which breach international standards (Farrell & Gordon, 2012). ...
... Alcohol promo is always going on here… Promotion is one major reason why people take alcohol, due to the 'buy-two-get-one-free' or 'buy-oneget-different-gifts' [prizes], which are rife… (Pretty, female) Some of the male participants (whose female friends worked as 'beer promoters'-(see Dumbili, 2016b) revealed their perceptions of how sales promotion is planned and executed. For example, one of them stated that alcohol producers through their marketing representatives monitor sales, and if they discover that a particular brand is not receiving enough patronage, the producer will initiate a promotion to encourage buyers. ...
... Substance scholars also found that alcohol outlet staff can motivate impulse buying, which often increases the quantities of alcohol bought and consumed by youths (Pettigrew et al., 2015). In Nigeria, Dumbili (2016b) reported that alcohol companies and marketers are beginning to employ young and 'beautiful' women, who they train to encourage men to buy and consume more alcohol. ...
Article
Full-text available
Despite the increase in alcohol marketing activities by the transnational alcohol corporations in Nigeria, little research has focused on their impact on young people's drinking behaviours. Using empirical data from in-depth interviews with 31, 19 to 23-year olds from a Nigerian university, this study explores students' awareness of promotional activities on and around campus and the extent to which sales promotion influences their alcohol consumption. The data were analysed to generate themes with the aid of NVivo software. Sales promotion is common on campus and around students' off-campus residential and leisure sites. Students' awareness of, and exposure to promotional activities were high, to the extent that they identified the sales promotion strategies that are particular to students' environments, the specific alcohol companies that use each strategy and the particular bars where promotions are held. Whilst sales promotions offering free alcohol and price discounts influenced men to buy and consume larger quantities of alcohol than they had intended, the actions of sales personnel also engendered impulse purchasing and the consumption of more potent brands. The women were also influenced by sales staff to consume more alcohol than originally planned, although their main motivation for participating in sales promotions was to win 'giveaways' such as cars, electronic gadgets and other branded paraphernalia. The findings indicate that while effective monitoring of alcohol promotions and related marketing strategies should be reinforced, the government may also give serious consideration to more evidence-based regulatory measures rather than relying on marketing self-regulations.
... conscious cost-benefit analysis (Heyman, 2009;Petraitis, Flay, & Miller, 1995)], thereby escalating use and hampering recovery from alcohol addiction. Since addiction is related to repeated association, reinforcement and modelling (Caprara, Regalia, & Bandura, 2002;Giovazolias & Themeli, 2014), media images glamorising alcohol and associating it with modernity and fun (Dumbili, 2016;Sznitman & Romer, 2014) seem to fuel AUDs in both Uganda and Belgium. Many Ugandan service users also testified to consume alcohol as a kind of self-medication to cope with psychological pain, which was recently reported by the WHO (2013). ...
... The legal drinking age in Uganda and Belgium is 18 and 16 years, respectively, but all service users started to drink long before that age indicating more attention for underage drinking concerns. Also, the enactment of protective policies is needed to restrict opportunities of alcohol production and consumption, which is expected to protect many individuals from starting use (Babor et al., 2010;Dumbili, 2016). Further studies in Uganda, to analyse the impact of cultural and spiritual beliefs on treatment programmes and stigma among service users are necessary, since culture, religion and spirituality are regarded to be strong influences in the addiction process (Kalema, Vanderplasschen, Vindevogel, & Derluyn, 2016;Tumwesigye et al., 2013). ...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Although conceptualisation of addiction varies with time and culture, literature on intercultural studies between high and low income countries is scarce. This article uses Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM)-5 guidelines on diagnosis of Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) and the Capability Opportunity Motivation – Behaviour (COM-B) model to explore perspectives on alcohol addiction and its facilitating factors in Uganda and Belgium. Method: Sixty qualitative interviews (40 with service providers and 20 service users) were administered in four alcohol treatment centres, two in Uganda and two in Belgium. Interviews were transcribed and analysed thematically using Nvivo software. Result: While addiction was primarily regarded as a disease enabled by capability factors (affordability and the absence of life and social skills) by Belgian respondents, many Ugandans viewed it as a moral or criminal issue; motivated by the varied roles of informal alcohol use amidst weak restrictions. Opportunity-related factors including; acceptability, availability, media influence, cultural/religious beliefs and practices and peer influence were recognised as facilitating factors in both countries, while stigma was equally prevalent. Conclusion: Interventions in Uganda could explore strengthening legislation and research on utilisation of the well-entrenched religious and cultural institutions to encourage alternatives to alcohol use. In Belgium, promotion of life and social skills, alcohol regulation in educational institutions and other demand reduction strategies seem essential to delay the onset of (mis)use. In both societies; general reduction of opportunities for access, early intervention, programmes for young persons and prevention of stigma through awareness-raising can be explored for mitigation of AUD.
... conscious cost-benefit analysis (Heyman, 2009;Petraitis, Flay, & Miller, 1995)], thereby escalating use and hampering recovery from alcohol addiction. Since addiction is related to repeated association, reinforcement and modelling (Caprara, Regalia, & Bandura, 2002;Giovazolias & Themeli, 2014), media images glamorising alcohol and associating it with modernity and fun (Dumbili, 2016;Sznitman & Romer, 2014) seem to fuel AUDs in both Uganda and Belgium. Many Ugandan service users also testified to consume alcohol as a kind of self-medication to cope with psychological pain, which was recently reported by the WHO (2013). ...
... The legal drinking age in Uganda and Belgium is 18 and 16 years, respectively, but all service users started to drink long before that age indicating more attention for underage drinking concerns. Also, the enactment of protective policies is needed to restrict opportunities of alcohol production and consumption, which is expected to protect many individuals from starting use (Babor et al., 2010;Dumbili, 2016). Further studies in Uganda, to analyse the impact of cultural and spiritual beliefs on treatment programmes and stigma among service users are necessary, since culture, religion and spirituality are regarded to be strong influences in the addiction process (Kalema, Vanderplasschen, Vindevogel, & Derluyn, 2016;Tumwesigye et al., 2013). ...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Although conceptualisation of addiction varies with time and culture, literature on intercultural studies between high and low income countries is scarce. This article uses Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM)-5 guidelines on diagnosis of Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) and the Capability Opportunity Motivation – Behaviour (COM-B) model to explore perspectives on alcohol addiction and its facilitating factors in Uganda and Belgium. Method: Sixty qualitative interviews (40 with service providers and 20 service users) were administered in four alcohol treatment centres, two in Uganda and two in Belgium. Interviews were transcribed and analysed thematically using Nvivo software. Result: While addiction was primarily regarded as a disease enabled by capability factors (affordability and the absence of life and social skills) by Belgian respondents, many Ugandans viewed it as a moral or criminal issue; motivated by the varied roles of informal alcohol use amidst weak restrictions. Opportunity-related factors including; acceptability, availability, media influence, cultural/religious beliefs and practices and peer influence were recognised as facilitating factors in both countries, while stigma was equally prevalent. Conclusion: Interventions in Uganda could explore strengthening legislation and research on utilisation of the well-entrenched religious and cultural institutions to encourage alternatives to alcohol use. In Belgium, promotion of life and social skills, alcohol regulation in educational institutions and other demand reduction strategies seem essential to delay the onset of (mis)use. In both societies; general reduction of opportunities for access, early intervention, programmes for young persons and prevention of stigma through awareness-raising can be explored for mitigation of AUD.
... With the existence of several traditional alcoholic beverages (palm wine, burukutu, ogogoro, pito) in both rural and urban areas (Obot, 2000), alcoholic drinks are readily available to people of all ages in Nigeria (Obot, 2007(Obot, , 2013Obot & Ibanga, 2002;Umoh et al., 2012;World Health Organization, 2018), and even the sponsored self-regulation messages on the media are designed to serve the interest of corporate alcoholic drinks manufacturers (Dumbili, 2014). Female undergraduate students are engaged by manufacturers and marketers of alcoholic beverages to strategically promote the consumption of their brands in bars, hotels and nightclubs (see Dumbili, 2016a). Our aim in this study therefore was to examine the roles of gender, social anxiety and extraversion in drinking patterns of Nigerian undergraduate students. ...
Article
Full-text available
Background Effective interventions to curb the growing alcohol use problem in African countries require an understanding of critical factors associated with drinking patterns. Previous studies have examined the contributions of gender, social anxiety and extraversion in alcohol use, but little research exists on the operationalization of drinking patterns as high-risk situations for alcohol use, and the contributions of these factors. This study is aimed at filling this gap. Methods Participants were 276 students (males 52.2%) of a university in south-eastern Nigeria. They completed validated measures of social anxiety, extraversion and drinking patterns (financial, physiological, interpersonal, marital and emotional). Results Hierarchical multiple linear regression results showed that male students were more likely than female students to drink alcohol in situations related to financial, interpersonal, and emotional issues, but both genders were similarly involved in alcohol use in physiological and marital relationship issues. Social anxiety and extraversion did not have significant associations with drinking patterns. Being married or in romantic relationship was associated with higher drinking frequency. Conclusion Attention should be given to the use of alcohol in the context of romantic relationships for male and female students.
... Female consumption of alcohol in industrialised societies highlights a more generalised contradiction faced by women between pleasure and respectability. Future studies should investigate whether ''drinking like a male'' can be related to the idea of ''transforming empowerment'' to produce ''alternative'' or ''resistant'' identities or whether it contributes to exacerbating certain vulnerabilities/contradictions in relation to feminine respectability (Dumbili, 2016; Griffin et al, 2013; Spencer, 2014). Thus, Cullen (2012) and Rolfe et al. (2009) explored the sharing of alcohol drinking stories by adolescent girls as a social space for the negotiation of normative discourses on female respectability. ...
Article
Public debate on the consumption of alcohol by adolescents has grown over recent years. It has intensified in Spain after epidemiological reports of a significant increase in alcohol consumption among adolescent girls. We designed this study to gain insights into this new trend from a gender perspective. The objective was to understand the meanings and motivations attributed to alcohol consumption by female adolescents. A qualitative study was undertaken with 96 female and male adolescents aged between 14 and 17 years, using focus groups and in-depth individual interviews. The analysis presented in this paper is based largely on the female sample. We subjected their narratives to summative content analysis. The results show how the attributed meanings of disinhibition and having a good time may be contributing to the generation of new expectations and demands in relation to codes of femininity and breaks with the gender system. We discuss the results in terms of the implications for preventive interventions with a gender perspective.
Article
Full-text available
ABStrAct This paper aims to describe alcohol advertising in the public arena of Gambia, Ghana, Madagascar, Nigeria and Uganda. Analyses on the placement, channels, size and content of outdoor alcohol advertising practices (N=807) in relation to existing regulations are given. For example, in Gambia, the country with the most stringent alcohol marketing regulations of all countries studied, outdoor alcohol advertisements are on average smaller and less attractive to youth; whereas, in Uganda and Ghana, countries with self-regulation, there is limited protection. Findings illustrate the innovative ways in which the alcohol industry attempts to reach their market despite existing alcohol marketing regulations and cultural boundaries. Legal measures could be a policy instrument to protect against harmful exposure.
Article
Full-text available
The use and misuse of psychoactive substances among adolescents are increasing in Africa. While heavy episodic drinking among adolescents in Nigeria is growing, there are no written alcohol control policies to regulate the production and availability of alcohol. This article describes the patterns and determinants of alcohol use among Nigerian adolescents in secondary school. Nineteen quantitative studies published in peer-reviewed English language-based journals were reviewed. The results reveal more current and lifetime alcohol use among males than females. The findings also reveal that the motives for using alcohol include staying awake in order to study at night, drinking to forget one’s problems, drinking to alleviate anxiety and drinking to enjoy festivals. Similarly, the results reveal that peer pressure in the form of drinking to satisfy friends or to not be seen as different from one’s group predicted alcohol use, while multiple substance-related problems were reported among substance users. Amongst other factors, the non-existence of alcohol control policies, which increased alcohol availability was associated with alcohol use. This article discusses the implications of these findings, the possible re-orientation of Nigerian adolescents, the formulation and implementation of effective alcohol policies and suggested further research.
Article
Full-text available
Background: The misuse of alcohol and other drugs among young people, especially students, is a growing global phenomenon. In traditional Nigerian society, different locally-produced alcoholic beverages served complex roles but were mainly consumed among adult males for pleasure. Though adult females in some communities consumed alcohol, the practice of drinking was culturally controlled. In contemporary Nigeria, available quantitative studies reveal changing patterns of alcohol use amongst youth but fail to unravel the social variables that motivate alcohol use among this group. Methods: Qualitative data were collected through in-depth interviews with 31 (22 males and 9 females, aged 19-23 years) undergraduate students attending a university located in a metropolitan city in Anambra State, south-eastern Nigeria. Data were collected and analysed to generate themes with the aid of Nvivo 10 software. Results: There appears to be a resilient socio-cultural belief in which men see alcohol as ‘good for males’ while the females in contrast believe that alcohol ‘does not discriminate against feminine or masculine gender’ and should be drunk by both males and females. Findings also point to the ways in which male-gendered drinking behaviours, such as heavy or fast drinking are employed by women to develop social capital. Conclusions: These results do suggest how gendered constructions of alcohol consumption create risks for both men and women, how they negotiate and ameliorate those risks, and how women challenge gender roles through their use of alcohol. Some focus on formulating evidence-based policies and comprehensively evaluated campaigns are needed to disseminate information about the risks and potential consequences of heavy alcohol consumption in order to promote safer alcohol use by young people.
Thesis
This study draws on cultivation analysis (Gerbner, 1969) to explore the interrelating factors concerning the role of media in young people’s consumption of alcohol at a south-eastern Nigerian university. Nigeria has the second highest alcohol consumption in Africa. Traditionally, drinking spaces were dominated by adult males for socio-cultural reasons but in contemporary Nigeria there is increasing concern that younger men and women are now also drinking harmfully. Qualitative interviews were conducted with 22 male and 9 female undergraduate students (aged 19-23 years) to explore the ways in which media consumption shapes their drinking behaviour. Whilst young people’s consumption of both local and foreign media was high and gendered, one key motivation for using alcohol was aspirational, particularly among those who consumed Hollywood films. Many of the participants who consumed Hollywood films may have learned to associate heavy consumption with high social status. Importantly, this thesis demonstrates that although local films portray alcohol in a mainly negative light, this also motivates young people to drink as they learn how to use alcohol to ameliorate anxiety or depression. Young people’s drinking patterns were found to be gendered, underscoring a resilient socio-cultural belief in which men see alcohol as good for males while women believe that it should not be confined to men. Consequently, the women employed male-gendered drinking behaviours such as heavy drinking to develop social capital. At the same time, both male and female participants discussed taking part in risky sexual behaviour but the outcomes differed for males and females, with this behaviour being more stigmatised in women. Alcohol advertising and promotion were found to be highly influential because they encourage brand preference and brand allegiance, actively facilitate change of brand, and lead to excessive consumption amongst male and female participants. Although the participants confirmed that promotional activities facilitate alcohol misuse, they argued that promotions should not be regulated because promotional prizes alleviate poverty. This study furthers the discussion on cultivation theory by demonstrating that heavy television viewing cultivates alcohol consumption among this population and it contributes to cultivation and audience research by revealing that negative portrayals can also influence young people. This study’s findings can inform educational campaigns and policy formulation in Nigeria, particularly those that tackle alcohol availability, heavy episodic drinking and risky sexual behaviour; and those that encourage media literacy and more positive and equal relationships between women and men.
Book
The wide range of approaches to data analysis in qualitative research can seem daunting even for experienced researchers. This handbook is the first to provide a state-of-the art overview of the whole field of QDA; from general analytic strategies used in qualitative research, to approaches specific to particular types of qualitative data, including talk, text, sounds, images and virtual data. The handbook includes chapters on traditional analytic strategies such as grounded theory, content analysis, hermeneutics, phenomenology and narrative analysis, as well as coverage of newer trends like mixed methods, reanalysis and meta-analysis. Practical aspects such as sampling, transcription, working collaboratively, writing and implementation are given close attention, as are theory and theorization, reflexivity, and ethics. Written by a team of experts in qualitative research from around the world, this handbook is an essential compendium for all qualitative researchers and students across the social sciences.
Article
Alcohol was the cause of nearly five million deaths globally in 2010, an increase of over one million deaths recorded ten years earlier. It was the leading risk factor for disease in southern sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), fifth in the East and West, and sixth in the Central African region. Several factors account for the increasing harm associated with alcohol in Africa among which are the availability of a wide variety of alcoholic beverages, rising urban populations, more disposable income to purchase alcohol, and unrestrained marketing and promotion of alcohol. Using a variety of strategies, producers of alcohol target young people and women with aspirational messages and other exhortations in an unprecedented onslaught of marketing and promotion which is increasingly being recognized as detrimental to public health and social welfare. Missing in the discussion on alcohol in most African countries is a clear understanding that alcohol marketing is not an ordinary economic activity and that the business of alcohol (an addictive substance with high potential for harm) can subvert the rights of individuals and the principles of democracy which many African societies are struggling to enthrone. This paper discusses these issues with particular attention to the harms caused by alcohol (to drinkers and non-drinkers alike), the potential for far-reaching harms to individuals and the society at large if the present scenario continues, and how these harms can be averted or minimized with the implementation of evidence-based policies.
Article
To describe the penetration and expansion of the global alcohol industry into the African region, as a context for exploring the implications for public health. Source materials for this study came primarily from market research and the business press. This was supplemented by industry sources (from websites, company annual reports), World Health Organization reports and the scientific literature. Drinking in Africa is characterized by high rates of abstention and a high prevalence of heavy episodic consumption among those who drink. Much of the region is currently experiencing a rapid rise in consumption. Rising populations and income and the rapid pace of urbanization make Africa very attractive to the global alcohol industry, and industry leaders have identified Africa as a key area for growth. The shift from collaboration to competition in Africa among the global alcohol companies has prompted increasing alcohol production, promotion, new product development, pricing schemes and stakeholder lobbying. Beer consumption has increased across most of the continent, and global brewers view themselves as legitimate players at the alcohol policy table. Weak alcohol policy environments may be compromised further in terms of public health protections by alcohol industry opposition to effective measures such as marketing regulations, availability controls and taxation. © 2014 Society for the Study of Addiction.