Black youths overexposed to alcohol ads, study finds

Authors suggest alcohol advertisers target young African-Americans

African-American youths see more alcohol advertising in magazines and on TV than do all youths ages 12-20, a new report from the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health says. The study's authors note that black youths consume more media in general, which plays a role in the findings, but also suggest that alcohol advertisers are targeting young African-Americans.

"The report's central finding—that African-American youth are being overexposed to alcohol advertising—is a result of two key phenomena," said author David Jernigan, the center's director. "First, brands are specifically targeting African-American audiences and, secondly, African-American media habits make them more vulnerable to alcohol advertising in general because of higher levels of media consumption. As a result, there should be a commitment from alcohol marketers to cut exposure to this high-risk population."

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Youth Risk Behavior Survey, about one in three African-American high school students in the U.S. are current drinkers, and about 40 percent of those who drink report binge drinking.

Read more from School of Public Health