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Kids see more than 3 alcohol advertisements per day

May 17, 2016
by Tom Valentino, Senior Editor
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A study showing adolescents in Southern California are exposed to 3.1 alcohol advertisements per day has prompted calls for greater restrictions on when and where such ads are placed.

The study, conducted by not-for-profit research organization RAND Corp., took place over a 10-month period in 2013 and 2014, with 589 Los Angeles area youths, ages 11 to 14, who were asked to record each exposure to an alcohol advertisement in real time over a 14-day period.

Among the report’s findings:

  • Outdoor advertisements, billboards, and signs outside stores and bars accounted 38% of ad exposure, the largest source. Television ads provided the second-greatest exposure at 26%.
  • African American and Hispanic youths were exposed to an average of 4.1 and 3.4 alcohol advertisements per day, compared to white youths, who were exposed to two ads per day. RAND researchers attributed some of the discrepancy to media consumption habits, as African Americans and Hispanics consume two to three more hours of media per day than whites.
  • Girls are exposed to 30% more alcohol ads than boys.

“With the level of exposure found in our study, greater restrictions on alcohol advertising outdoors and on television should be considered,” Steven C. Martino, study co-author and RAND senior behavioral scientist, said in a press release.