The Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth (CAMY) reports that the number of alcohol ads on television has increased dramatically since 2001 and claims that it causes young people to drink or to abuse alcohol.
However, federal surveys report that underage drinking has been dropping as has heavy episodic drinking (so-called “binge drinking”) among young people during that time. For example, between 2001 and 2005, the proportion of students reporting having engaged in so-called “binge drinking” dropped among twelfth graders by 5%, dropped among tenth graders by 16%, and by eighth graders by 20% or one-fifth.
Research conducted by governments, health agencies and universities around the world for decades finds no evidence that alcohol advertising causes young people to begin drinking or to drink more or that it increases overall alcohol consumption in the total population. However, advertising can be effective in strengthening brand loyalty among drinkers and also in increasing a producer’s market share, which grows at the expense of other producers who lose market share.