TV Ads for Beer, Wine, and Distilled Spirits

The press is full of assertions that TV is awash with alcohol ads and that we are “drowning” in them. How many alcohol ads are there on television? Is the number increasing?

Whether or not there are too many alcohol ads is highly subjective. For some people, a single ad for an alcoholic beverage is one too many and a cause of grave concern. But here are the numbers.

If alcohol advertisers generate ads in proportion to their spending for them, then on average, for every:

77 ads, one is for beer/ale,
for every 2,000 ads, one is for wine, and
for every 6,666 ads, one is for distilled spirits.

Are TV ads for alcoholic beverages increasing? Apparently, they’re decreasing. For example, only two alcoholic beverage advertisers are among the top 50 leading national advertisers in the U.S., and both fall very near the bottom of the list, which goes from the highest to lowest spenders on ads. Both alcohol advertisers spent substantially less money on advertising in 2003 than in 2002 and both dropped even farther down the list between those two years.


For more on the advertising of alcoholic beverages and the effects of such ads, visit Alcohol Advertising.

To learn about an alcohol advertising watchdog group, visit The Center for Alcohol Marketing and Youth.

References and Readings

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