December 27th, 2013
Underage youth exposed to alcohol advertising through social media
By Evan Williams
Researchers from RAND Europe and the University of Cambridge investigated the marketing campaigns of five alcohol companies – Fosters, Magners, Carling, Stella Artois and Tia Maria – to assess their use of social media websites for advertising. The researchers tried to determine whether children and young adults could be exposed to these campaigns.
All five brands maintained Facebook, YouTube and Twitter accounts, connecting them to consumers. While all five of the brands did have age restrictions in place on Facebook, prohibiting individuals under the age of 18 from accessing the companies’ pages, no such age limitations exist on YouTube. Only two of the brands – Carling and Stella Artois – had age-related restrictions in place for their Twitter pages. Warning messages about age requirements were used by several of the brands on YouTube and Twitter accounts; however, these messages did not prevent access to the pages.