ERIC Number: ED321323
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989-Jun-10
Reference Count: N/A
Alcohol and Cigarette Advertising on Billboards: Targeting with Social Cues.
Schooler, Caroline; Basil, Michael D.
A study examined whether billboard advertising of tobacco and alcohol products is differentially targeted toward White, Black, Asian, and Hispanic neighborhoods. The study analyzed 901 billboards in neighborhood commercial districts in San Francisco, California, giving particular attention to tobacco and alcohol billboards. Neighborhood census data were merged with billboard data to address this question. The study also proposes a theoretical model to explain how this medium is effective. The social aspects of drinking and smoking are posited to be important positive product attributes. The study suggests that the modeling of social cues can serve to motivate product use, disinhibit behavioral restraints, and reinforce existing habits. The data suggest that: (1) across all billboard advertising of products and services, tobacco (19%) and alcohol (17%) products were the most heavily advertised; (2) Black and Hispanic neighborhoods had more tobacco and alcohol billboards than White or Asian neighborhoods; (3) Black neighborhoods had the highest per capita rate of billboard advertising; and (4) there were more Black models per 1,000 Black people than there were ethnic models for other ethnic groups. Furthermore, the analyses of the content of the billboards revealed that alcohol and cigarette advertisements use social modeling cues such as anticipated rewards, attractive models, and similarity. This understanding of social influence and modeling on billboards should provide health professionals with information to counter the strategies of tobacco and alcohol advertisers. (One figure and 4 tables of data are included, and 56 references are attached.) (Author/SR)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A