Survey shows youths recognise more alcohol branding than food

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Survey shows youths recognise more alcohol branding than food

09 February 2015

A survey of ten and 11 year-olds in the north east of England shows that 49% had already tasted alcohol and that those who use social media and watch TV after 9pm are more likely to have at least tried alcohol.
98% of the young people survey are reported to have recognised the Fosters lager brand, 78% Smirnoff and 67% WKD. This is compared to just 85% for McVitie’s, 91% for McCoys and 84% for Ben & Jerry’s.

In part, this might well be due to the fact that supermarkets persistently advertise alcohol upon entrance into their stores and that advertising is quite literally everywhere for certain alcoholic brands.

This is not surprising given the alcohol industry spends an estimated £800m a year on marketing its products. Colin Shevills of Balance in the north east alcohol office was quoted in the News Guardian as stating that “exposure to alcohol promotion in the UK normalises drinking for young people” and we couldn’t agree more.

Being repeatedly exposed to the positive marketing messages surrounding alcohol on a daily basis will encourage young people to drink from a younger age. We know this through talking to the young people we deliver our workshops to.

One of our fellow members of the Alcohol Health Alliance UK summed up the general feeling well in the News Guardian. Professor Gerard Hastings, founder of the Institute of Social Marketing at the University of Stirling said:

"The research shows that alcohol marketing is clearly making an impression on our children. Existing evidence shows that exposure to alcohol marketing leads young people to start drinking at an earlier age and to drink more”
The alcohol companies will almost certainly say that they advertising is aimed at adults only, but the truth is that children are now consuming the same content and using the same media channels to access the advertising.

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