Alcoholic Beverage Sales Promotion: An Initial Investigation of the Role of Warning Messages and Brand Characters Among Consumers Over and Under the Legal Drinking Age

Garretson, Judith A.; Burton, Scott
March 1998
Journal of Public Policy & Marketing;Spring98, Vol. 17 Issue 1, p35
Academic Journal
In a between-subjects study, the authors examine the influence of brand and warning information on various consumer attitudes and beliefs regarding alcoholic beverages held by youthful consumers both above and below the legal drinking age. The authors examine potential effects in the context of a sales promotion item, one of the specific areas that has been targeted in recently proposed alcoholic beverage legislation. Results indicate that those of legal drinking age (mean and median ages of 23 and 22 years, respectively) hold more favorable attitudes toward alcohol and perceive less risk associated with the consumption of alcohol than do high school-age (15 to 18 years) students. Although there are some significant differences in risk perceptions across conditions, awareness of the risks of driving after drinking and drinking when pregnant generally are high across all warning conditions. When the beverage marketer sponsors the waning message, the social concern of the marketer is perceived as more positive than in control conditions in which the U.S. government warning is used or no waning is provided. Respondents have a more favorable attitude toward the sales promotion item when it includes brand characters than they do in control conditions in which no brand characters are included. The authors provide implications for public policymakers and marketers.


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