Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

British children more exposed to alcohol promotion than adults, experts warn

Date:
March 1, 2013
Source:
University of Southampton
Summary:
Children in Britain are more exposed to alcohol promotion than adults and need much stronger protection, warn experts.

Children in Britain are more exposed to alcohol promotion than adults and need much stronger protection, warn experts on bmj.com today.

Related Articles


In an editorial to coincide with publication of the UK's first independent alcohol strategy, Professor Gerard Hastings at the University of Stirling and Dr Nick Sheron at the University of Southampton argue that urgent changes to Britain's "flawed" regulatory system are needed to provide much stronger protection for children.

A new analysis conducted by the Rand Corporation for the European Commission shows, for example, that 10-15 year olds in the UK see 10% more alcohol advertising on TV than their parents do. Even more shocking, when it comes to the specific sector of alcopops, they see 50% more.

RAND's analysis was unable to draw any sensible conclusions about relative exposure via digital and social media, the corporation did note, however, that young people are the heaviest users, and alcohol marketers are exploiting the resulting opportunities with enormous energy.

That this commercial activity is harming children is beyond dispute, say the Hastings and Sheron. Indeed, findings from 13 peer reviewed studies on the impact of alcohol marketing on young people were absolutely clear cut: "alcohol marketing increases the likelihood that adolescents will start to use alcohol, and to drink more if they are already using alcohol."

Yet this deeply regrettable state of affairs is completely predictable, they argue.

They point to the voluntary commitment made by the drinks industry -- restated most recently in October 2012, a month after the new analysis was published -- to restrict its advertising to media that "have a minimum 70% adult audience."

The so called 70:30 split is based on the share of the US population above the legal drinking age of 21, but has been applied generally around the globe, with a ratio of 75:25 in the UK.

However, the authors explain that in the UK only 21% of the population is under 18, and of these 5% are infants, so the voluntary guidelines allocate these children an audience share of 25% even though they comprise only 16% of the population. "The RAND study shows that this is delivering exactly the result that would be expected: children are more exposed than adults," they say.

The Rand analysis also suggests two further conclusions. Firstly, the disproportionately high exposure of children to alcopops advertising cannot be explained simply by the regulatory system; deliberate targeting must also be at play.

"We have to assume that drink advertisers are not deliberately aiming their campaigns at children, but internal documents do show that they are enthusiastically targeting the profitable group of young people aged between the minimum legal drinking age and 21," write Hastings and Sheron, who is also a consultant hepatologist at Southampton General Hospital.

The danger that "such neatly targeted campaigns will spill over into younger groups" is also clear from the analysis, they add.

Secondly, digital media "are tearing up the communications rule book" they say, resulting in marketing that is "simultaneously more powerful and less controllable."

"Our children urgently need protection from alcohol marketing," they conclude. "Voluntary codes and partial measures have all too obviously failed, and digital media is set to multiply the resulting harm."

Central to this week's strategy recommendations is a complete ban on alcohol advertising and sponsorship, they add. "The Rand report confirms that such a step is long overdue."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Southampton. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Gerard Hastings, Nick Sheron. Alcohol marketing: grooming the next generation. BMJ, 2013; 346 DOI: 10.1136/bmj.f1227

Cite This Page:

University of Southampton. "British children more exposed to alcohol promotion than adults, experts warn." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 March 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130228194651.htm>.
University of Southampton. (2013, March 1). British children more exposed to alcohol promotion than adults, experts warn. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130228194651.htm
University of Southampton. "British children more exposed to alcohol promotion than adults, experts warn." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130228194651.htm (accessed December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) — In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) — A double-amputee makes history by becoming the first person to wear and operate two prosthetic arms using only his mind. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) — Harvard researchers found children whose mothers were exposed to high pollution levels in the third trimester were twice as likely to develop autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Yoga Could Be As Beneficial For The Heart As Walking, Biking

Yoga Could Be As Beneficial For The Heart As Walking, Biking

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) — Yoga can help your weight, blood pressure, cholesterol and heart just as much as biking and walking does, a new study suggests. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins