Does alcohol advertising increase consumption?
Is the ban on alcohol advertising in South Africa going to have an adverse effect on consumption
By: M Z Mthembu
Table of contents
Objectives and Aims
Research Design and Methodology
Sample plan design
Alcohol is the oldest drug known; it has been part of many religious and social rituals through the ages in many different societies. Alcohol is available in over 230 000 outlets in South Africa. There are different kinds of alcohol beverages, namely; Beer, Wine, Whiskey, Gin, Spirits and Cider. Alcohol advertising is the means of promoting alcoholic beverages through the different forms of media, in a modern society its seen as a way of promoting binge drinking, cigarettes, unhealthy eating. It is said that 45% of commercials are advertisements of alcohol, there is a huge debate surrounding the banning of alcohol advertising, with some being for it and others being against it. Those that are for it, cite the reason of alcoholism, crime, poor work output, death, disability, teenage drinking amongst many. Those that are against it, are looking at the amount of revenue that is going to be lost and they generally do not believe that banning alcohol advertising will have an adverse effect on consumption nor do they believe that there’s a relationship between alcohol advertising and consumption. Both sides share common features when it comes to the legal and economic efficiency. It is predicted that loss of revenue, in South Africa, for mass media will be R1, 8 billion. Made up of: SABC R800 million, DSTC and ETV combined will be R500 million and radio, newspapers, magazine, lifestyle will be the leftover balance. Such a ban will result in 2500 job losses. This figure is incredibly high for a country that is trying to create jobs. Countries like New Zealand, Denmark found no evidence showing that ban on advertising results in reduced alcohol abuse. South Africa ranks amongst the top 5 countries with the heaviest drinkers; alcohol is one of the top three causes of death and disability in the country after STI’s and interpersonal violence. South Africans consume about 5 billion litres per year of alcohol. Will pulling the plug on alcohol advertising reverse all these facts? Will it change society norms? The National Household Survey on Drug Abuse reported that the rates of alcohol use in 2008 were 1,5% amongst 12/13 year olds, 6,9% among 14/15 year olds, 17,2% among 16/17 year olds and 33,7% among persons aged 18 to 20. These figures have since gone up thus raising concerns about teenagers and alcohol. According to a study published in Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine it showed a link between underage drinker’s preference and marketing. People are exposed to alcohol advertising on television, newspapers, magazines, billboards and promotional materials, bottle shops, pubs and sporting activities. With all the media mediums, it is said such advertising incites the purchase amongst people and thus increase alcohol consumption. In 2001, Professor John Nelson of Penn State University suggested that a positive link had been found between alcohol advertising and increases in consumption, even though that link was slight, it indicated that 10% increase in advertising was associated with 1% increase in consumption. Many attempts to get regulators to ban ALL alcohol advertising have proved unsuccessful. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) was established in 1962 to ensure that all non-broadcast media adhered to the basic principles contained in the International Code of Advertising. The ASA code contains specific rules on alcohol beverages. In South Africa advertising is permitted on television, radio, media, outdoors and cinema, the code does state those advertisements may not be transmitted in the commercial breaks...
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