European longitudinal study on the relationship between adolescents’ alcohol marketing exposure and alcohol use

Avalon de Bruijn*, Jacqueline Tanghe, Rebecca de Leeuw, Rutger Engels, Peter Anderson, Franca Beccaria, Michał Bujalski, Corrado Celata, Jordi F. Gosselt, Dirk Schreckenberg, Luiza Słodownik, Jördis Wothge, Wim E. Dalen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)
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Background and aims: This is the first study to examine the effect of alcohol marketing exposure on adolescents’ drinking in a cross-national context. The aim was to examine reciprocal processes between exposure to a wide range of alcohol marketing types and adolescent drinking, controlled for non-alcohol branded media exposure. Design: Prospective observational study (11–12- and 14–17-month intervals), using a three-wave autoregressive cross-lagged model. Setting: School-based sample in 181 state-funded schools in Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Poland. Participants: A total of 9075 eligible respondents participated in the survey (mean age 14 years, 49.5% male. Measurements: Adolescents reported their frequency of past-month drinking and binge drinking. Alcohol marketing exposure was measured by a latent variable with 13 items measuring exposure to online alcohol marketing, televised alcohol advertising, alcohol sport sponsorship, music event/festival sponsorship, ownership alcohol-branded promotional items, reception of free samples and exposure to price offers. Confounders were age, gender, education, country, internet use, exposure to non-alcohol sponsored football championships and television programmes without alcohol commercials. Findings: The analyses showed one-directional long-term effects of alcohol marketing exposure on drinking (exposure T1 on drinking T2: β = 0.420 (0.058), P < 0.001, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.324–0.515; exposure T2 on drinking T3: β = 0.200 (0.044), P < 0.001, 95% CI = 0.127–0.272; drinking T1 and drinking T2 on exposure: P > 0.05). Similar results were found in the binge drinking model (exposure T1 on binge T2: β = 0.409 (0.054), P < 0.001, 95% CI = 0.320–0.499; exposure T2 on binge T3: β = 0.168 (0.050), P = 0.001, 95% CI = 0.086–0.250; binge T1 and binge T2 on exposure: P > 0.05). Conclusions: There appears to be a one-way effect of alcohol marketing exposure on adolescents’ alcohol use over time, which cannot be explained by either previous drinking or exposure to non-alcohol-branded marketing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1774-1783
Number of pages10
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2016


  • Adolescents
  • alcohol advertising
  • alcohol marketing
  • binge drinking
  • drinking
  • Europe


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