A new study published in Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs offers an evidence that YouTube Videos which promotes alcohol are heavily viewed. People more likely to take them as fun besides drinking.
Scientists viewed 137 Youtube videos that mainly promotes popular alcohol brands with underage drinkers from beer to vodka to cognac. The videos had almost 97 million views.
40% of the videos were traditional advertisements. Others were guides, where a mentor discussing its merits and offering serving suggestions.
Lead researcher Brian Primack from the University of Pittsburgh Center for Research on Media, Technology, and Health said, “There is no way of knowing how many of those millions of viewers were underage kids.”
“Our aim is not to say we should be censoring this. However, knowing about this content should help us develop appropriate educational programs.”
We found that instead of manufacturers, ordinary YouTube users are more likely to upload alcohol ads.
He said, “It didn’t seem to be that Bud Light was posting most of these. It was usually someone who just liked this ad enough to post it.”
“But the industry is never completely out of the picture. Companies create their ads to be funny or otherwise engaging and that may be partly with the hope that people will share them on social media,” he pointed out.
What can parents do?
Instead of advising people stop seeing such videos, researchers advised parents help their kids be more savvy about alcohol advertising. They could bring up how organizations can attempt to control individuals by characterizing alcohol as a key ingredient to socializing and having fun.
Primack said, “Parents can be important purveyors of media literacy. They can help their kids become more critical thinkers about what they see in ads.”