Graphic alcohol ads showing long-term health issues are most effective, says survey

Seeing a graphic advertisement of how alcohol works its way through your bloodstream has proven to be the most ...
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Seeing a graphic advertisement of how alcohol works its way through your bloodstream has proven to be the most motivating type of advert to reduce alcohol consumption.

A graphic ad showing how alcohol works its way through your bloodstream and increases cancer risk is the most motivating way to reduce alcohol consumption, according to new research.

Participants of the survey, coordinated by the Victoria Cancer Council in Melbourne, were randomly assigned to view three of 83 English-language alcohol harm reduction ads. They were asked to rank effectiveness in motivating them to reduce the amount of alcohol they drink.

The sample comprised 2174 18 to 64 year olds who consumed alcohol at least 1-2 days per week on average over the past 12 months.

A still from a Western Australian ad titled 'Spread' showing alcohol circulating around the bloodstream. This was found ...
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A still from a Western Australian ad titled 'Spread' showing alcohol circulating around the bloodstream. This was found to be the most effective in making viewers consider drinking less alcohol.

A West Australian video was most motivating, showing alcohol mutating into cancers across the body, while the least motivating was one asking viewers to drink water instead of beer.

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Two of New Zealand's 'It's Not The Drinking' ads were among the top ten most effective.

The study results released this week also showed the top-ranked ads were more likely to feature a 'why change' message and less likely to carry a 'how to change' message. They were also more likely to address long-term harms, be aimed at the general adult drinking population and include drinking guidelines.

Alcohol use currently ranks among the top five risk factors for global disease burden, according to the report.

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About 70 per cent of this alcohol burden is due to long-term harms such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, neuropsychiatric disorders and infectious disease, with the remainder due to short-term harms including unintentional and intentional injury.

 - Stuff

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