Huntsville, Ala. ---- What could a person’s preference of beer or wine cooler indicate? To find out, An Alabama A&M University professor is conducting a pilot study on the impact of alcohol-related television ads on overexposed youths.
According to Dr. Jacob Oluwoye, transportation expert and professor in AAMU’s College of Agricultural, Life and Natural Sciences, the Federal Trade Commission has already reported on the importance of avoiding the marketing of alcoholic
beverages to young people, and it has encouraged affiliated companies to use self-regulatory standards to do so.
Further, an entire decade ago, notes Oluwoye, wine, beer and liquor makers agreed to halt advertising in certain media venues, more particularly television programs whose under 21 viewership exceeded 30 percent of the audience.
Highly concentrated industries such as the alcohol industry, claims Oluwoye, often prefer to compete through advertising rather than through price. He describes a ‘highly concentrated’ industry as one that is characterized by a small number of relatively large firms. Firms bordering on being a monopoly are less likely to advertise than vibrant firms competing with a small number of rivals, he says.
Yet, the advertising-to-sales ratio for the alcohol industry is about three times the 3 percent rate of other industries, notes the professor. Thus, the aim of Oluwoye’s pilot study is to examine which alcohol product advertising on cable TV since 2001 has exacted the most significant positive effect on overexposed youths.
Specifically, Oluwoye’s work zeroes in on determining whether any relationship exists between overexposed youths and the advertising of particular alcoholic beverages on cable TV. Doing so required the professor to develop an overexposed youth model in a form suitable for the analysis of alcohol product advertising.
Although further study is necessary, preliminary data seem to indicate that beer and spirit consumption is associated with youth exposure, but wine and wine cooler consumption is not. Additional research would allow further analysis of the nuances, says Oluwoye, to get “a more accurate understanding of how different alcohol beverages affect youth exposure.”
For more information about the study, contact Oluwoye at (256) 372-4994 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Jerome Saintjones