Aims To identify correlates of beer advertising awareness among adolescents at an age when most initiate use of alcohol.
Design We conducted a cross-sectional analysis of an in-school survey about alcohol advertising. Structural equation modeling was used to test for independent predictors of a latent beer advertising awareness construct, separately among boys and girls.
Setting Twenty middle schools in South Dakota, USA participated during their spring semester.
Participants A total of 1530 eighth graders.
Measurements A latent advertisement awareness variable was derived based on recognition of six masked beer advertisements, knowledge of beer brands and knowledge of beer slogans. Tested predictors included measures of exposure to alcohol advertising in various venues, social norms regarding drinking, drinking beliefs and behavior and gender.
Findings Adolescents with greater exposure to advertisements in magazines, at sporting and music events and on television were more advertisement aware than those with less exposure, as were teens who watch more TV, pay attention to beer advertisements and know adults who drink. Beer advertisement awareness was dramatically higher among boys, and was associated with drinking only among boys.
Conclusions Each of a variety of advertising venues appears to influence independently the extent to which beer advertising is incorporated into an adolescent's cognitive world. Boys are more likely to be aware of and remember beer marketing, and may be more likely to drink as a result of this awareness than girls.