APYN with the help of the Institute of Alcohol Studies established a group of APYN Youth researchers who designed and implemented this project, using the network of youth member organisations to recruit participants.
Youth researchers primarily aimed to document youth perceptions of alcohol marketing in Europe. The secondary aim was to document and describe the volume and types of alcohol marketing that young people in Europe are exposed to in their daily lives. The research project consisted of two parts: an online survey and a mapping exercise.
1095 respondents from 41 countries (age ranging from 14 to more than 40) participated in an online survey about their perceptions of alcohol marketing and 23 participants from 11 countries participated in a pilot mapping exercise that documented the prevalence of alcohol marketing practices in their daily lives.
Respondents who had their first drink under the age of 15 years were far more likely to report heavy episodic drinking levels throughout their lifetime. The survey results showed that respondents have felt perceived more by other things (like taste, price and special offers) than advertisements when buying alcohol. However, the majority of respondents agreed that alcohol advertising influences youth perceptions of alcohol and should not be targeted at young people (74.5 % of respondents), and that alcohol advertisements should carry health warnings (77.4 % of respondents). Respondents agreed, that price and availability are very important when deciding whether and what kind of drinks to consume (eg, more than 65 % of respondents feel influenced to buy the drink then there is a special offer for it and more than 85% of respondents claimed they do take price into consideration when choosing alcoholic drink). This suggested, that one cannot objectively assess how much is he or she influenced by marketing in general. We all know that the influence of marketing is supposed to be unobvious.
The mapping exercise results showed that participants documented exposure to alcohol advertisements in a wide variety of settings, most often in supermarkets, streets and on the internet. The marketing medium used most often was poster. In general, participants spotted on average more than ten examples of alcohol marketing during the course of two days.
Youth researchers conclude that more studies should be done in order to objectify the actual impact of alcohol marketing throughout Europe and that they are going to try to attract more young people to the APYN Youth Researchers’ team. The conclusions made from this research study include a recommendation to governments and policymakers in Europe to introduce stricter regulation of alcohol marketing, in order to protect young people.
The entire report can be found on www.apyn.org/resources