© Frank Baker, Media Educator

INTRODUCTION: This web site is designed for educators who want to help make their students more aware of the marketing and advertising of alcohol.

Analyzing these messages is part of the national Health teaching standards and is part of many state’s teaching standards.

This topic is ripe for study as the alcohol industry “targets” teens (and others) through strategic placement of its messages in movies, music and sporting events, television, magazines and more.

Teachers: you may first want to have students review the “core concepts” of media literacy and the corresponding critical thinking questions.

Be sure to have your students read one or more of the timely news articles listed in the table of contents on the left).


“It may not be in marketers’ best interest for children to become media literate, but it is society’s responsibility to ensure that they do. We can and should level the playing field on which alcohol marketing is played.”- Professor John Ford, Old Dominion University (Source)

“Kids in the United States are exposed to a heck of a lot of alcohol advertising, and it impacts what they drink and how much they drink,” ( Dr. Tim Naimi, a CDC epidemiologist, quoted in AP story; full study)

“…researchers saw similarities among soda and alcohol ads in using themes of humor, relaxation and outdoor adventure to sell products….much soda advertising explicitly targets teenagers and children.” (News story on new research conducted by Erica Austin and others: Dec 2005 Journal of Health Communication)

“girls are specific targets of marketing… [and] get a heavier exposure to alcohol marketing than girls of legal age, and see 95 percent more alcohol advertising than the typical 35-year old. Much of it is in the magazines girls read, especially, Cosmopolitan, In Style, Vibe, Entertainment Weekly and Vogue.”
(CAMY research, reported in Boston Globe, August, 2005)

“Alcohol advertising does create a climate in which dangerous attitudes toward alcohol are presented as normal, appropriate, and innocuous. Most important, alcohol advertising spuriously links alcohol with precisely those attributes and qualities happiness, wealth, prestige, sophistication, success, maturity, athletic ability, virility, creativity, sexual satisfaction that the misuse of alcohol usually diminishes and destroys.”  Jean Kilbourne, media lecturer/scholar (full article)

“Alcohol ads used to look like pictures from Playboy – women with big breasts and big hair designed to appeal to men. Now the models look like they have stepped out of fashion magazines and the message is that you can use alcohol to unleash your wild side.” from Smashed: Growing up a Drunk Girl, by Koren Zailckas, Random House

Young people view approximately 20,000 commercials each year, of which nearly 2,000 are for beer and wine. (Strasburger & Donnerstein, 1999) quoted here

Share this page:
Contact Frank W. Baker

Invite Frank W. Baker - one of the nation’s leading Media Literacy Experts - to your School, District or Conference