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Research claims teenagers aware of alcohol marketing likely to consume more

A new study, by the University of Stirling, has found a link between young people’s awareness of alcohol marketing – and their drinking habits.

Researchers spoke to over 3,000 young people from across the UK, with a mix of ‘current’ and ‘never’ drinkers.

82% said they’d seen at least one form of alcohol marketing over the past month.

The study – led by Dr Nathan Critchlow, of the University’s Institute of Social Marketing (ISM) – is the first to examine awareness of alcohol marketing and ownership of branded merchandise in a demographically representative sample of young people across the UK, including those both above and below the legal purchase age for alcohol.

Dr Critchlow said: “Alcohol marketing is more than advertising; it exists in many different forms – more commonly known as the marketing mix – and we found this was reflected in what young people recalled. More than a third of young people recalled seeing alcohol advertising through television, celebrity endorsement, and special offers in the week before they participated in the survey, while more than a fifth recalled seeing outdoors adverts or adverts on social media.

“Although alcohol consumption can be influenced by a variety of factors, we found that the association between alcohol marketing and increased consumption and higher-risk drinking in current drinkers, remained even after controlling for a range of demographic and confounders, such as parental and peer drinking. This was also true for the association between owning branded merchandise and susceptibility in never-drinkers.”

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