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J Stud Alcohol Drugs. 2008 Sep;69(5):676-83.

Exposure of children and adolescents to alcohol advertising on television in Australia.

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  • 1Curtin Business School, Curtin University, GPO Box U1987, Perth WA 6845, Australia.



This article reports the extent to which children (0-12 years) and teenagers below the legal drinking age in Australia (13-17 years) were exposed to alcohol advertising on free-to-air television in Sydney, Australia, during the period from March 2005 to February 2006.


Exposure levels were obtained from weekly Target Audience Rating Points (TARPs) data generated by OzTAM, the official Australian television audience monitoring system. (The TARPs figure for an advertisement is calculated based on the number of individuals from a target audience [e.g., 13- to 17-year-olds] exposed to the ad as a proportion of the total number of individuals within the target audience, multiplied by 100). Exposure levels were obtained for four age groups-up to 12 years, 13-17 years, 18-24 years, and 25 years and older-for 156 different ads for 50 brands.


Adults 25 years and older were most exposed to alcohol advertising: approximately 660 TARPs per week. The level to which underage teenagers (13-17 years) were exposed to alcohol advertising was virtually identical to that of young adults (18-24 years): 426 TARPs per week vs 429 TARPs per week. Children (0-12 years) were exposed to approximately one in every three alcohol ads seen on average by mature adults (ages 25 years and older).


This study found that Australian children and teenagers below the legal drinking age currently are exposed to unacceptably high levels of alcohol advertising on television. These findings suggest that alcohol marketers may be deliberately targeting underage adolescents. At the very least the findings highlight the need for action to be taken to reduce levels to which underage Australians are exposed to alcohol advertising on television.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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