Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Would you ‘Like’ a drink? Youth drinking cultures, social networking and alcohol marketing

Date:
May 10, 2013
Source:
Taylor & Francis
Summary:
Preventing alcohol abuse, especially among young people, has long been a focus of public-health campaigns. But despite the well-publicized social and medical consequences of drinking too much it’s clear that for many, heavy drinking has become a normal part of life.

Preventing alcohol abuse, especially among young people, has long been a focus of public-health campaigns. But despite the well-publicised social and medical consequences of drinking too much it's clear that for many, heavy drinking has become a normal part of life.

Related Articles


And now, public-health professionals have a new force to contend with in their battle against the bottle: social-networking sites (SNS). Writing in a recent issue of Critical Public Heath, researchers from New Zealand consider the extensive, and not entirely positive, impact SNS may have on their efforts to encourage more responsible youth drinking (McCreanor et al., 2013).

The authors argue that although SNS users benefit from creating and sharing content, the sites are "quintessentially commercial platforms" which provide entirely new vehicles for alcohol marketing. The very characteristics that make SNS popular -- blurring boundaries between public and private spaces, acting as extensions of face-to-face relationships and being regularly viewed and updated -- also contribute to their commercial potential by bringing alcohol producers and consumers closer together.

The researchers note that site owners also have extensive access to valuable information about users' preferences, habits and interests, providing a bonanza for alcohol-marketing dataminers. Evidence suggests that alcohol producers and sellers are already embracing SNS as an effective marketing tool. Diageo, which has expanded its SNS marketing in recent years, has entered into a deal with Facebook, with over one billion users; other UK brands also employ a range of strategies including games, competitions and "branded conversation stimulus" in Tweets and wall posts. Well-known brands and alcohol-related events generate vast numbers of "friends," and alcohol-related apps thrive. The effect of all of this, the authors write, is to "normalise alcohol within both banal and special occasions in the everyday lives of SNS users."

And then there is user-generated content. Millions of wall posts, profiles and photos revolving around alcohol play a big role in normalising drinking within young adults' lives and cultural words. But the biggest challenge posed by SNS is that "they are effectively beyond the domain of public authority, essentially unregulated and possibly uncontrollable." The authors call for more research into the impact of SNS on youth drinking patterns, as even this initial survey gives a strong indication of how they may come to play a major role in maintaining pro-alcohol environments.

On the positive side, the Critical Public Health study also points out that SNS can be used to encourage young drinkers to change their practices in a more positive way. Unfortunately for public-health practitioners however, photos of people drinking responsibly aren't nearly so much fun to put up on Facebook.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Taylor & Francis. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Tim McCreanor, Antonia Lyons, Christine Griffin, Ian Goodwin, Helen Moewaka Barnes, Fiona Hutton. Youth drinking cultures, social networking and alcohol marketing: implications for public health. Critical Public Health, 2013; 23 (1): 110 DOI: 10.1080/09581596.2012.748883

Cite This Page:

Taylor & Francis. "Would you ‘Like’ a drink? Youth drinking cultures, social networking and alcohol marketing." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 May 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130510075455.htm>.
Taylor & Francis. (2013, May 10). Would you ‘Like’ a drink? Youth drinking cultures, social networking and alcohol marketing. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130510075455.htm
Taylor & Francis. "Would you ‘Like’ a drink? Youth drinking cultures, social networking and alcohol marketing." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130510075455.htm (accessed October 30, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Techy Tots Are Forefront of London's Baby Show

Techy Tots Are Forefront of London's Baby Show

AP (Oct. 28, 2014) Moms and Dads get a more hands-on approach to parenting with tech-centric products for raising their little ones. (Oct. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cocoa Could Be As Good For Memory As It Is For A Sweet Tooth

Cocoa Could Be As Good For Memory As It Is For A Sweet Tooth

Newsy (Oct. 27, 2014) Researchers have come up with another reason why dark chocolate is good for your health. A substance in the treat can reportedly help with memory. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Five-Year-Olds Learn Coding as Britain Eyes Digital Future

Five-Year-Olds Learn Coding as Britain Eyes Digital Future

AFP (Oct. 27, 2014) Coding has become compulsory for children as young as five in schools across the UK. Making it the first major world economy to overhaul its IT teaching and put programming at its core. Duration: 02:19 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Academic Scandal Shocks UNC

Academic Scandal Shocks UNC

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) A scandal involving bogus classes and inflated grades at the University of North Carolina was bigger than previously reported, a new investigation found. (Oct. 23) Video provided by AP
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