Alcohol Ads Might Not Actually Influence How Much We Drink


A new report from The University of Texas at Austin reveals that while alcohol advertisements may be effective in swaying a consumer’s brand choices, they are not actually influencing people to drink more, says AdWeek. The study examined alcohol sales in the US between 1971 and 2011 and found that per capita consumption remained relatively the same even though alcohol advertising increased by 400 percent during that period.

“Relating these findings to previous research reveals a consistency in that there is either no relationship or a weak one between advertising and aggregate sales,” reports the study. More specifically, the study lead by professor Gary Wilcox explains that beer sales have actually declined since the early 1990s, while wine and liquor sales have slightly increased.

Researchers attribute any change in alcohol consumption to sources other than advertising saying that they are “significantly correlated to fluctuations in demography, taxation and income levels—not advertising.”

On the other side of the coin, the study also explains that attempts to curb drinking rates by banning alcohol advertisements in public places likely do not minimize drinking. [AdWeek][Photo: Flickr/Wagner T. Cassimiro]