The number of alcohol ads in national magazines fell by 22 percent from 2001 to 2006, according to research results released today by the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth (CAMY) at Georgetown University. Youth exposure to these ads fell by 50 percent, according to the study.
Meanwhile, the number of alcohol ads on television increased by 33 percent during the same period. Youth exposure to these ads grew by roughly the same amount, at 30 percent.
This news comes on the heels of R.J. Reynold’s high-profile decision to pull its tobacco ads from all magazines at the end of last month. R.J. Reynolds is also under fire for a controversial nine-page cartoon advertorial that appeared in Rolling Stone’s November 15 issue.
In September 2003, the Beer Institute and the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States announced that their members would voluntarily restrict ads to media with youth audiences of 30 percent or less. The prior standard was 50 percent. By 2006, three percent of alcohol ads were still being placed in magazines with youth audiences larger than 30 percent. For television, the figure was at six percent.
"When the alcohol industry announced the 30 percent youth audience standard in 2003, there was hope that youth exposure to alcohol advertisements would decline across all media," said CAMY executive director David Jernigan in a statement. "Instead, the alcohol companies have shifted their advertising dollars from magazines to television."