Impact of digital alcohol marketing on alcohol-related attitudes and alcohol consumption
A systematic review was conducted. The following databases were searched: PubMed, Web of Science, Scopus, Jstor, PsycINFO, Medline, Tandofline & ScienceDirect. The eligible articles were published between 2017 and 2021 and published in English. Cross-sectional, experimental and longitudinal designs, systematic reviews and meta-analyses of quantitative nature were included. The scientific publications had to examine alcohol use or alcohol-related behaviour, intention to drink or to purchase alcohol, desire to drink, or alcohol-related attitudes as outcome variables.
An initial sample of 4,513 studies were identified. After data cleaning and excluding duplicates a total of 19 studies were included in our synthesis. Results underline that being exposed to, or engaging with, digital alcohol marketing, are both associated with and influence drinking behaviour, purchase intentions and related attitudes of adolescents and young and older adults. Moreover, warning labels and user-generated comments (UGC) when shown with digital alcohol marketing, exert both positive and negative effects on alcohol-related behaviours and intentions.
Conclusion: More research is needed to further understand the impact of digital alcohol marketing on vulnerable groups in the long-term and to assess the role of user-generated comments and warning labels herein. Nevertheless, our review reveals that digital alcohol marketing has an impact on alcohol use, attitudes and intentions towards alcohol and alcohol brands among youth and other age groups. Therefore there is an urge to update regulations to safeguard minors and vulnerable groups who are exposed to and who engage with digital alcohol marketing .