Scientific article
Publication Date
Published by / Citation
David Whiteley, Deborah Rickards-Hill, Elena Dimova & Carol Emslie (2023) Performing solidarity? A scoping review of alcohol marketing to sexual and gender minorities, Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy, DOI: 10.1080/09687637.2023.2260550
Original Language


sexual minority

Performing solidarity? A scoping review of alcohol marketing to sexual and gender minorities


Harmful alcohol use is more prevalent among sexual and gender minorities (SGMs) than their cisgender/heterosexual counterparts. The reasons for this are complex, incorporating alcohol’s normalization and availability in social settings, its importance to identity construction, and drinking to cope with stigma and discrimination. However, commercial determinants have been underexplored, particularly how alcohol is marketed to SGM communities.


Scoping review methodology was employed. Searches were conducted in MEDLINE, Web of Science, Google Scholar, CINAHL, ASSIA, PsycInfo, and PubMed. Grey literature was located through organisational websites. Following screening and data extraction, literature was synthesised thematically.


Fourteen articles were included. Findings exposed a complex web of alcohol marketing targeting SGMs on multiple fronts. Traditional advertising media was augmented by the opportunities digital marketing affords. Venue-based marketing on the commercial scene exploited the industry’s domination of community spaces, and the dearth of alcohol-free alternatives. Further, appropriation of SGM iconography, and sponsorship of SGM events, positioned the industry as an ally, forging public-facing personae of solidarity and acceptance.


Multifaceted marketing of alcohol saturates SGM communities, entrenching understandings of its ubiquity and importance. Further work is needed to describe and quantify the impact of these strategies on alcohol use within SGM communities.

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