A new study has found that exposure to alcohol marketing increases the amount and frequency of drinking among young people across Europe. More than 9,000 students in the Netherlands, Germany, Italy and Poland provided information about their alcohol intake as well as their exposure to a variety of alcohol marketing (e.g. television ads, online marketing, sponsorship of sports, music events, ownership of alcohol branded promotional items, receipt of free samples and exposure to price offers).
The study revealed that exposure to alcohol marketing was positively associated with young people's alcohol use over time. This correlation was found in all four countries regardless of their differences in culture, drinking regulations and habits. Lead researcher Avalon de Bruin stated that "Europe is the world's heaviest drinking region, and youth drinking is particularly problematic. Our study highlights the need to restrict the volume of alcohol marketing to which young people are exposed in everyday life. It's no longer just a matter of restricting television ads, policymakers need to examine the alcohol industry's total marketing scheme and develop regulations that will reduce all types of alcohol marketing."