African American Youth and Alcohol Advertising
DO YOU KNOW?
- Alcohol is the drug most widely used by African-American youth.
- African Americans suffer more from alcohol-related diseases than other groups in the population.
- Alcohol use contributes to the three leading causes of death among African-American 12 to 20 year-olds: homicide, unintentional injuries (including car crashes), and suicide.
WHAT ABOUT MAGAZINE ADVERTISING?
- Twenty-seven percent of African-American teens ages 12-17 and 21% of African Americans ages 18-20 are among the most frequent magazine readers.
- African-American youth saw 34% more alcohol advertising in national magazines than did youth in general in 2004. Compared to the average for all youth, African-American youth saw 21% more advertising for beer and ale, 42% more advertising for distilled spirits, 6% less advertising for "alcopops" such as Smirnoff Ice and Mike's Hard Lemonade, and 3% less advertising for wine brands.
- While 97% of all young people saw an average of 113 alcohol ads in magazines, 99% of African-American youth saw an average of 150 alcohol ads in national magazines in 2004.
- African-American youth also saw more advertising per capita for beer and ale, distilled spirits and alcopops than African-American adults
- African American youth saw 23% more beer and ale advertising, 7% more distilled spirits advertising, and 12% more advertising for alcopops than African-Americans age 21 and over.
- In 2004, out of 211 alcohol brands advertising in national magazines, just 22 brands – including six cognac or brandy brands – accounted for more than half of African-American youth exposure but less than a third of total spending in magazines.
- Alcohol advertisers concentrated the advertising that overexposed African-American youth in 14 magazines including Sports Illustrated, Vibe, Stuff, Entertainment Weekly, The Source, InStyle and Vogue.
WHAT ABOUT THE RADIO?
- African-American teens ages 12-17 listen to more than 17 hours of radio per week on average, compared to 13.25 hours for all teens.
- African-American youth listen to more alcohol advertising on the radio per capita than youth in general. These six markets were New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston-Galveston, and Detroit.
- Colt 45 Malt Liquor accounted for nearly a third of African-American youth exposure to alcohol advertising on the radio, while Colt and Hennessey Cognacs were the two brands that exposed African-American youth more than anyone else.
WHAT ABOUT TELEVISION?
- Thirty-nine percent of African-American, ages12 to 17 are among the most frequent viewers of cable TV, a fast-growing medium for alcohol advertisers, versus 16% of non-African-American teens.
- Alcohol advertisers spent nearly $4.8 million in 2004 to place ads on all 15 of the programs most popular with African-American youth, including Girlfriends, Half & Half, CSI and Without a Trace.
- Three leading alcoholic beverage brands (Bud Light, Heineken Beer and Miller Genuine Draft) accounted for more than half of the spending on this advertising.
- On BET, overall alcohol spending as well as spending on the programs generating the greatest youth exposure to alcohol advertising is steadily increasing.
- In 2004, 72% of alcohol advertising spending on BET was on ten programs that were more likely to be seen by youth than by adults. On these programs, as well as across all the BET programming containing alcohol advertising, young people ages 12 to 20 were more than twice as likely to be in the audience than adults age 21 and over.
THINK ABOUT IT.
WHY DO THE ADS FOCUS ON AFRICAN AMERICAN YOUTH?
Young people who are exposed to alcohol marketing are more likely to drink and drink heavily, whether the marketing comes from broadcast, print, alcohol logo-ed apparel; in-store beer displays or beer concessions at sporting and musical events; or placements in movies
"The marketing industry is directly targeting Black kids…African American kids tend to be trendsetters in what they buy, so the industry thinks if it can get more African American kids to buy, it can also get their White counterparts to buy." Rev. Jesse Brown, Executive Director, National Association of African Americans for Positive Imagery
DO YOU REALLY THINK THE MARKETING INDUSTRY CARES?
CHECK THIS OUT
"We'll gag at a gnat and swallow a camel before we advertise in anything that's major thrust is under-drinking-age people."
Roger Brashears Jr., Jack Daniel's Lynchburg, Tenn., Promotions Director.
Jack Daniel's was among the largest spenders on alcohol ads that reached Black youth through magazines. The whiskey maker denied targeting any underage markets.
HOW DOES IT FEEL TO BE THE VICTIM OF COMPANIES THAT MAKE MILLIONS OF DOLLARS TRYING TO ADDICT AND CONTROL YOU?