173115 Alcohol advertising in magazines: Are youths disproportionately exposed?

Monday, October 27, 2008: 9:42 AM

Michael Siegel, MD, MPH , Department of Community Health Sciences, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA
Charles King, JD, PhD , Greylock McKinnon Associates, Cambridge, MA
Joshua Ostroff , Virtual Media Resources, Natick, MA
Craig Ross, MBA , Virtual Media Resources, Natick, MA
Karen Dixon , Virtual Media Resources, Natick, MA
David H. Jernigan, PhD , Department of Health, Behavior and Society, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD
Background: Despite some evidence that alcohol advertising in magazines disproportionately exposes youths, there has not been a systematic study of the relationship between youth readership and alcohol advertising in a large sample of popular magazines. Several previous studies have actually reported that there is no relationship between youth readership and alcohol advertising.

Methods: We compiled data on the number of advertisements for each of several categories of alcohol including beer, spirits, alcopops, and wine appearing annually in each of 174 popular U.S. magazines during the period 2002 through 2006, as well as annual readership demographic information for each magazine. We examined the relationship between the presence or absence of advertising for each category of alcohol and youth readership using a logistic regression model. In the model, we controlled for total magazine readership, median income of magazine readers, advertising cost, year, and the percentage of young adult and female readers. We investigated the relationship between the number of alcohol advertisements and youth readership using a zero-inflated negative binomial count model.

Results: In the logistic models, we found a significant relationship between increased alcohol advertising for beer, spirits, and alcopops and higher youth readership, even after controlling for the proportion of young adult readers. There was no relationship between wine advertising and youth readership. Results for count models will be shared at the time of presentation.

Conclusion: These results provide the strongest evidence to date that alcohol advertising in magazines is disproportionately exposing underage youths.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the methodologic limitations of existing research which has concluded that youths are not disproportionately exposed to alcohol advertising. 2. Develop an analytic approach to assessing the relationship between the placement and volume of alcohol advertising in magazines and the level of youth readership. 3. Discuss the differences in the relationship between advertising and youth readership for various types of alcoholic beverages.

Keywords: Alcohol, Adolescents

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have developed and published methodology over the past 10 years for the analysis of the relationship between cigarette and alcohol advertising in magazines and youth readership. My work has been published in the New England Journal of Medicine, JAMA, Journal of Marketing, Contemporary Economic Policy, and elsewhere.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.