How are underage drinkers influenced by alcohol ads?

are not popular among adults but are very popular among youth and vice-versa, Siegel explained. But during this study, the researchers didn’t look at whether or not popular brands among teens appeal to a younger audience with the content of their advertising.

“We just looked at whether or not young people were exposed to the ads, but we did do another study in which we found that brands that are popular among young people do have a greater youth appeal. So, I do believe there’s evidence that these brands are not only the ones that young people are more exposed to, but the themes and messages that the brands are sending are more appealing to that population of youth.”

The researchers also found that underage consumption was significantly associated with the number of ‘likes’ a brand had on their Facebook page, their overall market share and the number of drinks that could be purchased with five dollars. Underage consumption declined as the average price for drinks of specific brands became more expensive.   

Siegel and his team concluded that their findings highlight that advertising influences not only particular behaviors but also the drinking choices of underage drinkers, thus the industry should move toward addressing the problem.

“We think that if we educate kids so they understand that the industry is basically out to get them, almost recruiting them to drink even though they are not of age to drink, they will be more resistant to those advertising messages. We also think the federal government should consider regulations to try to reduce youth exposure to alcohol advertising.”