Date of Award

Spring 5-4-2021

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)

Department

Public Health

First Advisor

Dr. Monica Swahn

Second Advisor

Dr. Karen Nielsen

Abstract

INTRODUCTION: Despite the rapid increase in alcohol marketing and its role in contributing to alcohol use, a growing global health concern, there is limited research examining young adults and their perception of alcohol advertisement and appeal that can inform alcohol counter marketing campaigns and prevention strategies.

AIM: To examine and compare perceptions of alcohol advertisements and marketing appeal in a cross-sectional survey of young adults in two countries, Uganda, and the U.S.

METHODS: The analyses are based on a cross-sectional survey, conducted in 2021, comprised of young adults ages 18 to 25 (N=603; 303 in U.S. and 300 in Uganda) Participants were recruited online for a 20-minute survey that included questions about demographic characteristics, alcohol advert exposure, alcohol use (AUDIT) and responses to 4 specific alcohol adverts including compliance with alcohol marketing codes using the alcohol marketing assessment tool (AMART). The outcome variable was the frequency of selected segments (heatmaps) of the four adverts and the AMART ratings of each ad. Chi-square tests of independence were conducted for selected preferred element of the advert and the participant home country for all four ads. A multivariate analysis was conducted to assess the association between alcohol use, marketing influence and AMART scores for each ad.

RESULTS: There was an association between the country variable and the regions of interests (X2 (df=2) = 14.21, p = 0.002) in advert 3 with a .04 point increase in perception of marketing features that are in violation of industry standards for every 1-point increase in marketing influence scores. The chi-square test for advert 4 reported a significant association between the country of origin and marketing features that are in violation of industry standards (X2 (df=2) = 33.40, p < 0.0001).

DISCUSSION: While culturally different, both the Ugandan and the American participants expressed similar perception and appeal of the selected alcohol adverts. However, there were also unique differences in the specific appeal of each adverts and association with alcohol use and code violations that can inform prevention strategies, and alcohol counter marketing initiatives that seek to reduce alcohol use in similar populations.

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