If you are the parent of a teenager, you have likely witnessed firsthand how teens can be influenced by advertising campaigns and various forms of marketing. If you tell a teen that he or she is being influenced by the commercials, Internet ads, magazine layouts and audio advertising that he or she observes in a day, you may be greeted with an eye roll. But regardless of whether teens understand the effects that advertising has on them, they are affected by these targeted efforts nonetheless.
A study recently published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs illustrates just how influential advertising can be when it comes to teens and underage drinking. The experts who conducted this study are based at the respected Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore. Their research strongly suggests, "a relationship between advertising exposure and consumption of specific brands."
When teens are heavily influenced by marketing campaigns, they tend to drink the brands that are marketed to them. It is not hard to guess that heavy exposure to alcohol-related advertising also makes teens more likely to drink as well.
As parents, you may not be able to control every advertisement that passes your teen by. Nor can you even necessarily control whether your teen chooses to drink when he or she is out of your sight. However, you can explain the very real risk of drunk driving accidents that your teen will be exposed to if he or she either drives drunk or drives with another who is drunk. Having the drunk driving conversation with your teen may be incredibly uncomfortable and you may think that your teen is not listening to your warnings. However, your efforts may ultimately help to save his or her life.
Source: Medical News Today, "Underage drinkers are 'targeted' by alcohol ads in magazines," July 8, 2014