The extent and nature of alcohol advertising on Australian television

Simone Pettigrew, Michele Roberts, Melanie Pescud, Kathy Chapman, Pascale Quester, Caroline Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction and Aims. Current alcohol guidelines in Australia recommend minimising alcohol consumption, especially among minors. This study investigated (i) the extent to which children and the general population are exposed to television advertisements that endorse alcohol consumption and (ii) the themes used in these advertisements. Design and Methods. A content analysis was conducted on alcohol advertisements aired over two months in major Australian cities. The advertisements were coded according to the products that were promoted, the themes that were employed, and the time of exposure. Advertising placement expenditure was also captured. Results. In total, 2810 alcohol advertisements were aired, representing one in 10 beverage advertisements. Advertisement placement expenditure for alcohol products in the five cities over the two months was $15.8 million. Around half of all alcohol advertisements appeared during children's popular viewing times. The most common themes used were humour, friendship/mateship and value for money. Discussion and Conclusions. Children and adults are regularly exposed to advertisements that depict alcohol consumption as fun, social and inexpensive. Such messages may reinforce existing alcohol-related cultural norms that prevent many Australians from meeting current intake guidelines.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)797-802
Number of pages6
JournalDrug and alcohol review
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished or Issued - Sept 2012


  • Advertising
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Australia
  • Children
  • Socialisation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Health(social science)

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