How the Alcohol Advertising Industry Impacts Our Thinking About Drinking

Nowadays, it is nearly impossible to avoid seeing alcohol consumption in advertisements, television, movies, or magazines.  Alcohol is one of the primary things advertisers pay for in the United States.  Many people wonder, how does the constant presence of alcohol in pop culture affect children and young people?

According to a study conducted by the University of Connecticut, young adults who viewed more alcohol advertisements than average also reported drinking more alcohol than average. In essence, young people who view more alcohol advertisements and are exposed to alcohol more in television and movies tend to drink more alcohol.

In 2019, the alcohol business spent around $27.5 million on outdoor advertising in the United States. The overall advertising spending in the industry was 486.1 million US dollars. Alcohol advertising is predicted to rise in line with the overall ad industry (4.9 percent), rising 4 percent in 2022 and 5 percent in 2023.

Advertising may promote and perpetuate favorable views regarding alcohol usage by portraying it as appealing, normal, and rewarding. Individuals who are targeted by these advertisements for alcohol may develop positive attitudes on the amount, settings, and advantages of alcohol and drinking. This creates the illusion that alcohol is fun and that drinking is widely acceptable rather than exposing the truth about what alcohol is, what it does to your brain and body, and how many risks are involved in consuming this dangerous substance.

The alcohol industry is a multi-billion dollar business, and information from various alcohol companies showed that with the number of advertising dollars spent in each state and total alcohol sold in each state, they could analyze youth drinking in relation to dollars spent.  Alcohol advertising is inarguably a contributing factor to youth drinking quantities over time.  Through early childhood education regarding alcohol and its negative effects, the influence of advertising and alcohol in pop culture may make less of an effect on our nation’s youth.

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