Liquor-Branded Advertising: Summary of Findings
Teen Television Viewing After 9 PM
This summary highlights the major findings of a census-balanced, nationally representative telephone study conducted in mid-May 2002 among 750 American teens 12- to 18-years-old. The CSPI Teen Television Viewing Study was conducted by Global Strategy Group. The margin of error for the study is +/- 3.5%.
This poll presents a portrait of American youths’ television viewing habits after 9 p.m. on school nights (Sunday through Thursday) and their awareness of advertising or commercials that air at that time. The study provides an estimate of how many teenagers watch television after 9 p.m. and explores teens' recall of commercials they see at that time. The survey specifically addresses teens’ recall of advertising for new product lines of ready-to-drink, malt-based alcoholic beverages (better known as "alcopops") that carry the names of liquor brands or products.
The major conclusions of the study include:
Teen Television Viewing Survey – Detailed Findings
1. Most teens (an estimated 22 million in the United States) watch television after 9 p.m. on school nights during the week. Nearly 17 million of those youths who watch TV after 9 p.m. lack adult supervision at least some of the time.
1a. Alcohol advertisers have direct and easy access to millions of potential underage consumers because younger teens often watch television after 9 p.m. without parental or adult involvement.
2. Teens say they don't pay much attention to commercials, but their high un-aided product and brand recall -- including for alcoholic beverages -- indicates that advertisers saturate this audience with advertising.
Top-of-Mind Advertising Recall Among Teens is High
Although only 3 in 10 teens ages 12 to 18 (31%) say they pay "a great deal" or "some" attention to television commercials or advertising after 9 p.m. on school nights, advertising recall of products and specific brands is high.
More than 6 in 10 teens ages 12 to 18 (62%) can name, top-of-mind (unaided), a specific company or brand that advertises products that appear in commercials on shows on school nights after 9 p.m. Clearly, teens remember brands by name.
Teens Think Television Advertising After 9 p.m. Targets Them
The poll found that 12- to 18-year-olds believe that advertisers are reaching out to them; teens recognize they are targeted by television ads that air after 9 p.m.
3. Teens report high awareness of ads for the new liquor-branded "alcopops," which most youths think are liquor, not beer or malt-based beverages.
Top-of-Mind (un-aided) Awareness of New Liquor-Branded "Alcopops" is High
More than 7 in 10 teens 12 to 18 (73%) have seen television advertisements for alcoholic-beverage products, including 71% of youths ages 12 and 13. When asked which alcohol products the advertisements were for, top-of-mind recall of newly advertised liquor-branded alcopops was surprisingly high.
Aided Awareness of Liquor-Branded "Alcopops" Is Very High
To gauge the level of exposure to television advertising for liquor-branded and other "alcopops" among 12- to 18-year-olds, surveyors read teens a list of products and asked if they had seen any advertising for each. To control for false positives -- where teens say they saw television advertising for a product but in fact had not -- the list of products included two fictitious brands: Absolut Platinum and Seagram Split.
As the following chart shows, teens have extremely high aided awareness of "alcopops," including those products associated with liquor-brand names. Awareness of the fictitious brands ranked lowest by far, reinforcing the conclusion that teens ages 12 to 18 are regularly exposed to advertising for many brands of "alcopops."
Teens Think Advertisements for Liquor-Branded "Alcopops" are Hard-Liquor Commercials
The poll presented teens with a list of eight "alcopop" products (including two fictitious brands -- Absolut Platinum and Seagram Split) and asked whether they thought each was more like beer, more like wine, or more like liquor.
Poll results suggest that teens associate liquor-branded "alcopops" with liquor more than beer and wine. Likewise, teens viewed Coors Vibe, with its well-known, beer-brand name, more as a beer product. The poll found that teens think:
Many teens ages 12 to 18 who are exposed to television advertising for liquor-branded "alcopops" mistakenly assume they are seeing advertising for liquor products.
 Global Strategy Group, Inc. is a premier, independent, Washington, D.C.-based strategic polling and market research firm whose clients include Chase Bank, American Express, Six Flags Theme Parks, ABC Monday Night Football, Disney Corporation, The Commonwealth Fund, the Kaiser Family Foundation, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, among others.
 Although 12-year-olds are not normally considered teenagers, for ease of reference the term "teens" in this report includes children of this age.
 Projections are based on the 2000 Census, which estimates that there are a total of 28.2 million U.S. residents between the ages of 12 and 18.
Center for Science in the Public Interest
Alcohol Policies Project
1220 L St. NW, Suite 300
Washington, DC 20005
Phone: 202-332-9110 * Fax: 202-265-4954 * Web: www.cspinet.org/booze