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Influence of advertising Liquor on youth

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With this business research proposal I, as a researcher, will try to clarify for the readers what the influence of advertising liquor is on underage drinking. I will try to explain why this specific research is important, and how the business research question is being rehabilitated into a causal hypothesis. In this research proposal research work that has been done in the past by other researchers will be used and also discussed and reviewed. In this manner I, as a researcher, will try to get the most correct data and answers possible available. In the research proposal you will see how I came to the final research design and which techniques/methods are used and under which circumstances. Also the technique how the sample has been selected will be discussed, at the end we will come to a final conclusion if advertising liquor does influence underage drinking.


Amaretto, Bacardi, Baileys, Budweiser, Heineken, Hennesy, Johnny Walker, Martini, and Smirnoff. These are just a couple of brands that spend billions of dollars each year just on advertisements. George Clooney leaving his date because he likes the Martini better is an example of a television commercial which promotes liquor.

Teenagers watch TV and they use the Internet more than ever before. The nineties generation is exposed to thousands of advertisements every day by the extreme use of modern media. Some of these advertisements promote liquor.

“While many factors may influence an underage person’s drinking decisions, including among other things parents, peers and the media, there is reason to believe that advertising also plays a role.” (Federal Trade Commission, Self-Regulation in the Alcohol Industry, 1999)

Although there are some restrictions on advertising of liquor, brands make drinking of liquor attractive by hiring celebrities to promote their products. Commercials show that drinking the particular brand is relaxing and trendy. Many youngsters are influenced by these kinds of advertisement and start drinking alcoholic beverages. Sometimes it becomes critical, because their consumption becomes excessive.

Almost weekly we can read or see in the news that a teenager has been in coma for a couple of hours or even days because of excessive drinking of alcoholic beverages (Infonews, 2007).

An advertisement on liquor has an influence on the consumption of alcoholic beverages. Teenagers are mostly influenced by these advertisements. The influence of advertisement of liquor could have a negative impact on youngsters. In other words, is advertising liquor resulting in more underage drinking?

Parents and friends have a high influence rate on the youth and their drinking decisions. Research has shown that alcohol advertisement and marketing of alcoholic beverages do have a significant effect and are influencing youth expectations and attitudes. These advertisements are helping the environment to promote the underage drinking habits. The youth is reporting to have a better feeling about drinking after viewing alcohol advertisements on the television of in other media. (Austin, 1994)

To be able to work out this research question, I will answer this question by making use of different resources e.g. facts and figures from the Central bureau of statistics, a questionnaire that will be spread amongst a small portion of the youth of different countries. I will analyze and interpret reports published by Alcoholics Anonymous World Services and papers reporting about advertising effectiveness on teenagers.

Literature Review

Underage drinking is till the day of today still a major public health problem. Around 81% of the students in the USA high schools consume alcohol, 31% of the students even drinks at least five alcoholic beverages in some occasions (e.g. beer, wine or hard liquor) at least 1 time per month. Traffic accidents are the highest death cause for youngsters younger than 25 years, more than 40% of these accidents are related to alcohol. The other top three causes of death in the group younger than 25 years are suicides and homicides and also here 20% to 40% of these causes is alcohol related. Everyday the literature is becoming more about the relation between advertising liquor and the influence it has on underage drinking. And has shown that alcohol advertisements target the younger people, since these are the highest alcohol consumers. (National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 2000)

A research in Los Angeles (2,250 middle school students) showed that the students that watched television programs that had alcohol advertisements during the brake they got stimulated to drink more than the rest of the students in grade 8 (13-14 years) beer, wine, liquor or they drank three of more drinks per occasion in a month. (Stacy, Zogg, Unger and Dent 2004)

A research in South Dakota (3,111 middle school students) showed that the students that where exposed to in store beer advertisements in grade 7 (12-13 years) predicted onset of drinking by grade 9 (14-15 years) and the same goes for the exposure of alcoholic beverage advertisements in a magazine and in sports or music events. (Ellickson, Collins, Hambarsoomians, and McCaffrey, 2005)

A research in Dartmouth Medical School (5,000+ Vermont and New Hampshire students) between the ages 10 to 14 where surveyed for 13 to 26 months and the outcome was that the students that where exposed to movies that contained alcohol in the scenes where more likely to start drinking at the time of follow up. There was also another conclusion that the alcohol use in the contemporary movies was 92% out of 601 movies. And also in 52% of the movies that where G-rated. (Sargent, Wills, Stoolmiller, Gibson, and Gibbons, 2006)

A research by the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth in 1997 showed and estimatet 28% decrease in alcohol advertisement would result in a decrease by adolescent would from 25% to between 24 and 21% and that would decrease the adolescent participation in binge drinking from 12 to between 11 and 8%. (Saffer & Dave, 2006)

A research by Hollingwel & Ebel shows that a complete ban on alcoholic advertisments would result in 7,609 fewer deaths from harmful drinking and that it also would have a 16% drop in the alcohol related life year lost. (Hollingworth & Ebel, 2006)

A survey by USA Today came to the conclusion that youngsters see that they are being more influenced by the advertisements to drink in general than that they are being influenced to buy a particular brand of alcohol. (Horovitz & Wells, 1997)

A survey by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms believes that “alcohol advertising is influencing youth to drink alcohol beverages.”(Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, 2001)

A survey by the Century Council (which is funded by the alcohol industry) came with the outcome that 73% of the people believe that “alcohol advertising is a major contributor to underage drinking.”(Century Council, 1991)

Research design and methodology

One of the most important aspects of making a good research proposal is starting with a waterproof research design that covers the most important aspects that need to be covered in a good research design. In the research design it should be very clear how the research is being done and what methods are being used. The research design is also a tool that helps with managing your time spent on research since you will be doing everything step by step. This also makes it easier for the reader to follow how the research has been done, and shows the reader the bond between the different variables. (Cooper & Schindler, 2007,)

The research question has to be converted to a causal hypothesis: “Is advertising liquor resulting in more underage drinking?” We have to take the type of variables into consideration and see which one is the dependent variable and which one is the independent variable. Here the “advertising liquor” is the independent variable. The independent variable causes an effect on the dependent variable. In this case the dependent variable is: “underage drinking”.

The null hypothesis is: advertising liquor is not resulting in more underage drinking.

In null hypothesis the independent variable is not having any effect on the dependent variable.

Advertising liquor is not having a positive correlation on underage drinking.

The alternative hypothesis is: advertising liquor is resulting in more underage drinking. In the alternative hypothesis the independent variable is having effect on the dependable variable. Advertising liquor is having realizing a positive correlation on the underage drinking.

To make this research feasible the collection of the correct data is needed, for this research the following data are needed: primary, secondary and tertiary sources followed by a questionnaire (which is primary data). The primary data is research that will be done by the researcher out of raw data. This is data that is not processed and that is collected by the researcher and processed by the researcher e.g. government data, data from a statistics bureau and interviews. Secondary data is the same data like primary but it is been manipulated so that it forms information and not just raw data e.g. academic articles and textbooks. Tertiary data is when you would use someone else’s view of secondary data that he has been using for his research e.g. bibliographies and Internet search engines.

In this research I will also make use of a cross-sectional study (survey). Surveys are cross sectional researches that are being done once, after that you manipulate the data in a way that it will suit your research the best then you analyse it to find the models of association. (Bryman & Bell, 2003). To collect the correct data you need to design a short and strong but effective questionnaire this can be done with multiple choice and open-ended questions. With this questionnaire you can collect the data that you require for you research to answer your research question. (Models of learning, 2008)

The sample of the people that are going to fill out the questionnaire will be 100 people consisting out of:

20 people spread out through India

20 people spread out through The Netherlands

20 people spread out through Belgium

20 people spread out through Germany

20 people spread out through The USA

The sample will help the researcher to understand how the advertisement of liquor influences the underage drinkers. Even non-drinkers can fill out the questionnaire and give their views about the questions since they are also being exposed to advertisements of alcoholic beverages.


In conclusion the research proposal gives the reader an idea why and how the research will be done. In the research it will be clarified if advertising liquor is resulting in underage drinking or not. Out of this research proposal a question is formulated, and then into a causal hypothesis, which will be tested. The test will show if there is a positive correlation between advertising liquor and the number of underage drinkers, which means that when there is more advertisement that results in more underage drinkers.

If the null hypothesis is being the outcome of the test then there is no significant effect between the independent and the dependent variable (no correlation between advertisement of liquor and underage drinking).

However if the alternative hypothesis is being the outcome then we know that there is a correlation between the independent and the dependent variable (that advertising liquor is resulting in more underage drinkers). Then we can have a conclusion if there should be more of less advertisements about liquor of not. This way marketers can also see if they should increase of decrease the money that is being spend on the advertising liquor.

The way all the information is being gathered will be all worked out in detail so if any other researcher wants to use the same methods its easy for them to follow it step by step and achieve the same outcomes and build further from there. In the business research the researcher will summarize the man theme in the research literature and draw the main point from show how each of the pieces of the research are build on the previous work that has been done by previous researchers. This research proposal also shows how I the researcher came to the research design. How the sample is taken and how many people and from what geographic parts of the world they have been selected will be explained in the research proposal. At the end the researcher will come to a conclusion if advertising liquor is having an influence on the underage drinkers or not.

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