Aims: Underage drinking is a major problem in Australia and may be influenced by exposure to alcohol advertising. The objective of the present study was to collect data on 12 17 year old Australian adolescents' exposure to different types of alcohol advertising and examine the association between exposure to advertising and alcohol consumption. Methods: A cross-sectional survey of 1113 adolescents aged 12 17 years recruited with a variety of methods to gain a cross-section of participants across metropolitan, regional and rural New South Wales (including independent schools, mall intercepts and online). Participants answered a series of questions assessing adolescents' exposure to alcohol advertising across eight media (including television, Internet and point-of-sale). Alcohol consumption was assessed using three questions (initiation, recent consumption and frequency of consumption in the previous 12 months). Results: The majority indicated that they had been exposed to alcohol advertisements on television, in newspapers and magazines, on the Internet, on billboards/posters and promotional materials and in bottleshops, bars and pubs; exposure to some of these types of alcohol advertisements was associated with increased alcohol consumption, with differences by age and gender. Conclusion: The results are consistent with studies from other countries and suggest that exposure to alcohol advertisements among Australian adolescents is strongly associated with drinking patterns. Given current high levels of drinking among Australian youth, these findings suggest the need to address the high levels of young people's exposure to alcohol advertising.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/sjones/153/