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Drowned Out: Alcohol Industry "Responsibility" Advertising on Television, 2001-2005

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Publication Date: June 2007

Publisher(s): Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Topic: Health (Health services for adolescents)

Type: Report

Abstract:

In 2005, there were nearly 11 million underage drinkers, and almost 7.2 million underage binge drinkers in the United States. This report analyzes the alcohol industry's "responsibility" advertising, advertisements which have as their primary focus a message about drinking responsibly, avoiding drinking and driving, or discouraging underage drinking.

According to this analysis by the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth (CAMY) at Georgetown University, alcohol advertising on television and per capita youth exposure to that advertising experienced historic increases between 2001 and 2005. However, youth exposure to alcohol industry-sponsored "responsibility" advertisements remained at consistently low levels. Alcohol industry "responsibility" advertisements comprised less than three percent of the nearly 1.5 million alcohol industry television advertisements that aired from 2001 to 2005.

Other major findings from this report:

* Alcohol companies spent $4.9 billion on television advertising between 2001 and 2005. They spent two percent of this amount ($104 million) on "responsibility" advertisements.
* Of the 109 alcohol companies advertising alcohol on television from 2001 to 2005, eight companies aired "responsibility" advertising.
* Of the 56 alcohol companies advertising alcohol on television in 2005, the most recent year for which data were available, six alcohol companies placed "responsibility" advertisements.
* Of the 300 alcohol brands that placed product advertising on television from 2001 to 2005, at a total cost of $4.7 billion, 25 brands placed "responsibility" advertising, at a total cost of $104 million.
* More brands aired "responsibility" advertising in 2005 than in any prior year. Of the 174 alcohol brands that placed product advertising on television in 2005, at a total cost of $1 billion, 19 brands sponsored "responsibility" advertisements on television, at a total cost of $28 million.