Alcohol marketing and young people's drinking: What the evidence base suggests for policy

Ross Gordon*, Gerard Hastings, Crawford Moodie

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


As the influence of alcohol marketing on young people remains a highly contested topic we review the recent literature to examine if the debate has moved on. The extant literature shows that while many econometric studies suggest alcohol marketing to have a minimal effect on youth alcohol consumption, more focussed consumer studies, particularly recent research employing sophisticated longitudinal designs, demonstrate clear links between alcohol advertising and drinking behaviour. Encouragingly, some of the more recent research studies assess marketing activity beyond advertising; sponsorship, new media, viral marketing, price promotions, new forms of distribution, product development and increased point of sale activity. The literature presents increasingly compelling evidence that alcohol marketing is directly impacting upon young people's drinking behaviour. The implications of this on the current policy debate surrounding alcohol marketing activities and regulation in the UK and beyond are discussed. Furthermore a research agenda for alcohol marketing for the future is offered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)88-101
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Public Affairs
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2010
Externally publishedYes


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