Lesley Smith: alcohol marketing and drinking behaviours

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Location: London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
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Alcohol marketing is a global industry, and in many countries alcoholic drinks are amongst the most heavily advertised products. Alcohol is promoted using various strategies including television, radio and print advertisements, point of sale promotions and product placement and portrayal of alcohol consumption in the broadcast and social media. An important
question, and matter of much debate, is the extent these promotional activities influence drinking behaviour of young people. Many studies have been published which inform this debate. The focus of this presentation is the findings from a systematic review updated with recently published studies. The aim of the review was to evaluate the relationship between exposure to alcohol advertising and marketing and subsequent drinking behaviour in young people. A systematic review of cohort (longitudinal) studies was conducted according to published guidelines. To date 16 ongitudinal studies have reported on the association between a range of above and below the line advertising and/or marketing exposure strategies. The data suggest that exposure to alcohol promotion strategies at baseline is
predictive of both uptake of drinking and increased frequency of drinking in young people.
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