Popular music increasing teens’ exposure to branded alcohol, deviant sex

Washington: Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh have found that the average US adolescent is heavily exposed to alcohol brands mentioned in popular music.

Branded alcohol references are most common in rap, R and B, and hip hop songs, and they are commonly associated with a luxury lifestyle characterized by degrading sexual activity, wealth, partying, violence and the use of drugs.

The analysis of 793 of the most popular songs in the youth market between 2005 and 2007 found that about 25 percent of the songs that mention alcohol also mention a brand name.

This represents about 3.4 alcohol brand appearances per song-hour.

Given that the average adolescent is exposed to about 2.5 hours of popular music per day, young people’s annual exposure to alcohol brand references in popular music is substantial.

The investigators noted that frequent exposure of young people to brand name references in popular music may constitute a form of advertising and could contribute to the early initiation and maintenance of substance use among adolescents.

The brands found in music, such as Patron Tequila, Grey Goose Vodka, and Hennessey Cognac, represent the same distilled spirits brands that are increasingly named as favourites by underage drinkers, especially women.

The authors suggested that the relatively high level of brand-name alcohol appearances in popular music might be a consequence of strengthening ties between the alcohol and music industries.

The findings have been just published online in the international journal Addiction.


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