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A comparison of alcohol advertisements between mainstream and black newspapers

Monica Councilor1, Charlene Caburnay, MPH1, Nneka Ekunno1, Paul Atkins1, and Douglas Luke, PhD2. (1) Health Communication Research Laboratory, Saint Louis University, 3545 Lafayette Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63104, 314-977-4081, councimt@slu.edu, (2) School of Public Health, Saint Louis University, 3545 Lafayette Ave., Saint Louis, MO 63104

The World Health Organization estimates that alcohol abuse is the fourth leading cause of disability, and can be linked to cancers of the stomach, liver and breast. In general, consumers exposed to advertising are more likely to make a purchasing decision. In this study, Black (n=16) and Mainstream (n=41) newspapers from two communities from November 2003 to January 2004 were content analyzed for alcohol advertisements. Preliminary findings suggest the frequency of alcohol advertisements is greater in Black newspapers than in Mainstream newspapers. Alcohol-related advertisements in Black newspapers were a small (5%) proportion of all advertisements, but more than twice that for Mainstream newspapers (2%). On average, there were 1.1 alcohol advertisements per issue for Black newspapers, and 0.6 for Mainstream. Most of the alcohol advertisements in Black newspapers were for beer and placed by the distributor, and only 22% were placed by a liquor or grocery store. In Mainstream newspapers, 89% were for a grocery or liquor store for various types and brands. Race was never depicted in the Mainstream advertisements, but was identified as Black in almost half of those in the Black newspapers (44%). Although Black newspapers have a higher frequency of alcohol advertisements than do Mainstream, the average area per advertisement is greater in Mainstream (64.6 in2) than Black newspapers (56.6 in2). The frequency of alcohol advertisements in both newspapers does not correlate with consumption rates of the respective racial groups in the same communities. These results suggest that newspaper advertisements may not significantly influence alcohol consumption.

Learning Objectives:

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Alcohol and Tobacco: Public Education and Media Advocacy

The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA