Research Report: Alcohol Ads

Published: June 27 2007


By the time they hit high school, an alarming number of teens have already hit the bottle. A third of U.S. ninth graders report they’ve used alcohol before age thirteen. Now, a University of Florida study, led by epidemiologist Kelli Komro, suggests parents should pay close attention to ads for alcohol kids see near their schools.

Komro: “We found that the number of ads they were exposed to around their school was associated with increased intentions to use alcohol and more positive attitudes around alcohol use.”

Alcohol advertisers say they target ads at people who already drink, but results show the ads still influence sixth graders who don’t drink yet.

Komro: “So among those kids who were not drinking, we still found the association between exposure to the outside advertisements and increased intentions to use alcohol. So, the ads are working even for the kids that were not drinking.”

Researchers say cities should limit or ban alcohol ads near schools, since results show exposure to the publicity can endanger children.