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The Myriad Influences of Alcohol Advertising on Adolescent Drinking


Purpose of Review

This review investigates effects of alcohol advertising on adolescent drinking. Prior reviews focused on behavioral outcomes and long-term effects. In contrast, the present review focuses on subgroups with greater exposure to alcohol advertising, research methods to study alcohol advertising, potential mechanisms underlying relationships between adolescent exposure to alcohol advertising, and increased drinking and points to prevention/intervention strategies that may reduce effects of alcohol advertising.

Recent Findings

Alcohol advertising influences current and future drinking. Further, evidence suggests that adolescents may be targeted specifically. Alcohol advertisements may influence behavior by shifting alcohol expectancies, norms regarding alcohol use, and positive attitudes. Media literacy programs may be an effective intervention strategy.


Adolescents are exposed to large quantities of alcohol advertisements, which violate guidelines set by the alcohol industry. However, media literacy programs may be a promising strategy for adolescents to increase critical thinking and create more realistic expectations regarding alcohol.

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Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: ••Of major importance

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During preparation of this manuscript Dr. Grube was supported by grant number P60-AA06282 (Environmental Approaches to Prevention) from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of NIAAA or NIH

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Correspondence to Benjamin L. Berey.

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Benjamin Berey, Cassidy LoParco, Robert Leeman, and Joel Grube declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

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This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.

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Berey, B.L., Loparco, C., Leeman, R.F. et al. The Myriad Influences of Alcohol Advertising on Adolescent Drinking. Curr Addict Rep 4, 172–183 (2017).

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  • Young adult
  • Alcohol marketing
  • Mechanisms
  • Media literacy
  • Digital alcohol advertising