“More Alcohol Ads Lead to More Consumption”

by David J. Hanson, Ph.D.

Consider this:

It should be obvious that these are all highly questionable conclusions. But apparently they aren’t questionable to some folks who report that young people who remember seeing alcohol ads are more likely to drink. They then jump to the conclusion that seeing alcohol ads causes young people to drink. In making their gigantic leap of faith, they conveniently ignore evidence to the contrary. For example:

Research on this subject has been conducted for decades by governments, health agencies, and universities around the world. The result? No good evidence that alcohol ads cause non-drinkers to begin drinking or causes drinkers to consume more.

Then why do alcohol beverage producers advertise? They advertise to increase their market share. Both research and experience has demonstrated that effective advertisers can increase a producer’s share of the market, which it gains at the expense of others, who lose market share. However, research consistently demonstrates that advertising does not increase overall alcohol consumption.

The authors of the attention-grabbing report need to go back and take Research 101.

 

References and Readings

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