Sport TV exposes thousands of kids to alcohol ads
Source: The Spirits Business
by Melita Kiely
12th August, 2015
New research shows children are exposed to thousands of alcohol adverts each year while watching sports on TV, questioning the effectiveness of advertising regulations.
The study was funded by VicHealth, the Australian Research Council and Australian National Preventative Health Agency, and conducted by Monash University, Australia, which was published in the international journal PLOS ONE.
The results revealed that 87% of all alcohol adverts are aired during daytime were broadcast in sport TV when potentially hundreds of thousands of children are watching.
The research is the first of its kind to analyse the extent of alcohol advertising in sport compared to non-sport TV, as well as match times when alcohol advertising was show on TV when children and young adults were known to be watching.
A total of 6,049 alcohol adverts were shown on free-to-air sport TV during 2012, with “significantly” more alcohol adverts per hour in sport than non-sport TV.
“Taking into account the amount of programming time for sport vs. non-sport TV there’s four alcohol adverts in sport for every one in non-sport TV,” commented Kerry O’Brien, associate professor and study lead. “Australian children love watching sport but unfortunately they are going to have to watch a lot of alcohol ads as well.
“The research data would suggest you’d have a large increase in children’s exposure to alcohol advertising.
“I can understand that advertisers and alcohol companies want to make money for shareholders, but it shouldn’t be at the expense of young peoples’ health.”
International research supports that greater exposure to alcohol advertising in children and teenagers is connected with “earlier alcohol initiation and more problematic drinking in later life”.
If the regulations permitting alcohol advertising in sport during the daytime were omitted, and alcohol advertising was restricted to after 9.30pm, the researchers said it would half the amount of exposure to children.
Dr Sherilene Carr, study co-author, said “Watching sport with your kids is a great family entertainment, but if culture is what you see around you, then it’s pretty clear from these results that what children see when they watch sport is a drinking culture.