The top alcohol brands consumed by underage drinkers are the same ones most heavily advertised in magazines read by those under age 21, a new study finds. The researchers say their findings suggest alcohol ads can encourage young people to drink, HealthDay reports.
The study also indicates the alcohol industry’s voluntary advertising standards are insufficient, the researchers add. “All of the ads in our study were in complete compliance with the industry’s self-regulatory guidelines,” lead researcher Craig Ross, of Virtual Media Resources in Natick, Massachusetts, said in a journal news release.
The guidelines suggest that alcohol ads should be restricted to magazines with less than 30 percent of readers who are younger than 21. Ross called for stricter standards, including limiting ads to magazines where fewer than 15 percent of readers are under 21.