Youth exposure to alcohol advertising in national magazines in the United States, 2001-2011

Craig S. Ross, Elizabeth R. Henehan, David H. Jernigan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Objectives. To update public health surveillance of alcohol advertising to underage populations by assessing alcohol industry compliance with their voluntary guidelines for US magazine advertisements from 2001 to 2011. Methods. Using advertising industry standard sources The Nielsen Company and MediaMark, we evaluated youth exposure to alcohol advertising, and relative advertising exposure of youths versus adults, in 168 national magazines. Results. From 2001 to 2011, magazine alcohol advertising seen by youths declined by 62.9%, from 5.4 billion impressions (single person seeing a single advertisement) to 2.0 billion impressions. Most alcohol advertising (65.1% of ads) was for spirits (e.g., vodka, whiskey). Since 2008, alcohol companies achieved 100% compliance with their limited guidelines. However, youths were overexposed to magazine advertising relative to adults on average 73% of the time. Conclusions. Despite improving compliance with placement guidelines in national editions of the 168 measured magazines, most youth exposure to magazine alcohol advertising exceeded adult exposure, per capita. If alcohol companies adopted stricter guidelines based on public health risk assessments, youths would not be overexposed to alcohol advertising in magazines.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)136-142
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican journal of public health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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