Hispanic Youth and Alcohol Advertising
The consequences of underage drinking among Hispanic youth are serious and disturbing.
The consequences of underage drinking among Hispanic youth are serious and disturbing. Reports from the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth (CAMY) have shown that, in general, underage youth are often more likely per capita to see and hear alcohol advertising than adults of legal drinking age. Within this context, CAMY's report Exposure of Hispanic Youth to Alcohol Advertising, 2003-2004 finds that Hispanic youth ages 12 to 20 often saw and heard even more alcohol advertising per capita than young people in their age group in general.
Prevalence and consequences of underage drinking among Hispanic youth:
- Hispanic young people are more likely to drink and get drunk at an earlier age than non-Hispanic white or black young people.1
- Hispanic youth are substantially more likely to report binge drinking in the past two weeks in the eighth grade than either white or black youth, and are increasingly more likely to do so in the 10th grade.2
- According to one study of young people in five Southwestern states, Mexican-American seventh- to 12th-graders are significantly more likely to be binge drinkers than their white peers. The differences were greatest for seventh- and eighth-grade girls, and for seventh-, ninth- and 12th-grade boys.3
- Research into the development of the adolescent brain has shown that heavy alcohol use in these years impairs brain activity and leads to lower scores on a variety of skills tests.4
- Young people who begin drinking before the age of 15 are four times more likely to become alcohol dependent than those who wait until they are 21, seven times more likely to be in a motor vehicle crash because of drinking, and at least 10 times more likely to be in a physical fight after drinking.5
The alcohol industry sees the Hispanic population as an important market for its products.
- The 2000 U.S. Census revealed that Hispanics are now the fastest-growing ethnic group in the United States.6 The Hispanic population is also younger than the general population: 40% of Hispanics were under 21 in 2002, compared to only 30% of the general population.7
- In August 2005, Anheuser-Busch announced the creation of a new vice-presidential post to oversee Hispanic marketing.8 Additionally, Molson Coors Brewing Company has named a vice president charged with coordinating sales and marketing to Hispanics, and SABMiller's Miller Brewing Company has agreed to a $100-million advertising package over three years with Spanish-language broadcaster Univision Communications Inc.9
- In 2003 and 2004, 10 alcohol brands spent close to $160 million to advertise on Spanish-language television.10
- Younger Hispanics are more likely to use English- than Spanish-language media. Most of the alcohol industry's advertising spending is for English-language media. These media are the primary vehicles for exposure of Hispanic youth to alcohol advertising.11
In the media studied by CAMY, Hispanic young people were often exposed to more alcohol advertising per capita than young people in general.
- Hispanic 12- to 20-year-olds in the United States saw 20% more alcohol advertising per capita in English-language magazines in 2004 than did young people of this age group in general. In 2003, they saw 7% more of this advertising than did all 12-to-20-year-olds.12
- The overwhelming majority of alcohol brands exposed Hispanic youth more per capita to their English-language magazine advertising than all underage youth-155 of 211 brands did so in 2004.13
- Alcohol advertising in just 11 magazines accounted for nearly 80% of Hispanic youth exposure to alcohol magazine advertising in 2003, and ads in 15 magazines accounted for nearly 80% of their exposure in 2004. In 2004, these magazines included Maxim, Sports Illustrated, FHM Magazine, Cosmopolitan, Us Weekly, Stuff and InStyle.14
On the radio
- In six of the top 20 markets by Hispanic population in 2003, and in seven of the top 20 markets in 2004, Hispanic youth ages 12 to 20 heard more radio alcohol ads per capita than all youth in those markets. In the other markets included in this top 20, Hispanic youth heard nearly as much radio alcohol advertising per capita as all youth.15
- In the 20 top media markets by Hispanic population, three brands exposed Hispanic youth to significantly more radio advertising per capita than youth in general during 2004. Hispanic youth heard 272% more radio advertising per capita for Beck's Beer that year than did non-Hispanic youth, as well as 194% more for Coors Beer and 78% more for Budweiser.16
- While 12 of the top 15 programs among Hispanic youth ran alcohol advertising in 2002, this number grew to 14 in 2003 and 2004.17
- Programs such as Bernie Mac, Fear Factor, Don Francisco Presenta, Cristina and The Simpsons ran alcohol ads during at least one of those two years.18
Updated October 2005. MTF data updated January 2012 (References 1 and 2).