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JAMA. 2003 May 14;289(18):2424-9.

Alcohol advertising in magazines and adolescent readership.

Author information

  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Evanston Northwestern Healthcare Research Institute, Evanston, Ill 60202, USA. c-garfield@northwestern.edu

Abstract

CONTEXT:

Adolescent drinking is a major public health concern. The federal government does not restrict alcohol advertising to adolescents, but relies on the alcohol industry for self-regulation.

OBJECTIVES:

To investigate recent alcohol advertising in magazines and to determine whether advertising frequency is associated with adolescent readership.

DESIGN, SETTING, AND SUBJECTS:

All alcohol advertisements were counted that appeared from 1997-2001 in 35 of 48 major US magazines, which tracked their adolescent readership (3 refused all alcohol advertisements; and advertisement counts were unavailable for 10). Variation was assessed in the advertisement placement frequency for each major category of alcohol (beer, wine and wine coolers, and distilled liquor) by a magazine's adolescent readership (age 12-19 years), young adult readership (age 20-24 years), and older adult readership (age > or =25 years); readership demographics (sex, race, and income); year; frequency of publication; and cost per advertisement.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE:

Variation in alcohol advertising frequency by adolescent readership.

RESULTS:

Adolescent readership ranged from 1.0 to 7.1 million. The alcohol industry placed 9148 advertisements at a cost of 696 million dollars. Of the 9148 advertisements, 1201 (13%) were for beer, 443 (5%) for wine, and 7504 (82%) for liquor. After adjustment for other magazine characteristics, the advertisement rate ratio was 1.6 times more for beer (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.0-2.6; P =.05) and liquor (95% CI, 1.1-2.3; P =.01) for every additional million adolescent readers. Wine industry advertising was not associated with adolescent readership.

CONCLUSIONS:

Magazine advertising by the beer and liquor industries is associated with adolescent readership. Industry and federal policymakers should examine ways to regulate advertising that reaches large numbers of adolescents.

PMID:
12746369
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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