The Relationship Between Brand-Specific Alcohol Advertising on Television and Brand-Specific Consumption Among Underage Youth

Craig S. Ross, Emily Maple, Michael Siegel, William Dejong, Timothy S. Naimi, Joshua Ostroff, Alisa A. Padon, Dina L.G. Borzekowski, David H. Jernigan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Being able to investigate the relationship between underage drinkers' preferences for particular brands and their exposure to advertising for those brands would represent a significant advance in alcohol marketing research. However, no previous national study has examined the relationship between underage youth exposure to brand-specific alcohol advertising and consumption of those brands. Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional, Internet-based survey of a national sample of 1,031 youth, ages 13-20, who had consumed at least 1 drink of alcohol in the past 30 days. We ascertained all alcohol brands consumed by respondents in the past 30 days. The main outcome measure was brand-specific consumption during the past 30 days, measured as a dichotomous variable. The main predictor variable was exposure to brand-specific alcohol advertising on television. The respondents reported which of 20 television shows popular with youth they had watched during the past 30 days. For each respondent, we calculated a standard measure of potential exposure to the brand-specific alcohol advertising that aired on those shows during the preceding 12 months, based on Nielsen (New York, NY) estimates of the youth audience for each show's telecasts. Results: Compared to no brand-specific advertising exposure, any exposure was associated with an increased likelihood of brand-specific consumption (adjusted odds ratio 3.02; 95% confidence interval: 2.61-3.49) after controlling for several individual- and brand-level variables. When measured as a continuous variable, the relationship between advertising exposure and brand consumption was nonlinear, with a large association at lower levels of exposure and diminishing incremental effects as the level of exposure increased. Conclusions: There is a robust relationship between youth's brand-specific exposure to alcohol advertising on television and their consumption of those same alcohol brands during the past 30 days. This study provides further evidence of a strong association between alcohol advertising and youth drinking behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2234-2242
Number of pages9
JournalAlcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Advertising
  • Alcohol
  • Brand
  • Underage Drinking
  • Youth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Toxicology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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