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• “Is your drinking affecting their drinking?”
COUNTRY Ireland
TIMING 2004 > 2006
THEME
Underage drinking

CONTRIBUTOR

  • Drinkaware (previously MEAS)
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OBJECTIVE

  • To reduce the incidence of underage drinking by supporting parents and engaging peers.
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DESCRIPTION OF THE INITIATIVE

  • The campaign was ran following evaluation to gain a better understanding of underage drinking in Ireland (see evaluation below). Parents and young people were challenged to review their attitudes towards alcohol in the context of traditional drinking occasions. The message was promoted via radio and print advertising.
  • It was run in three phases:
    • June 2004: Initial phase highlighted the vital role of parents of under 18s play in determining the attitude of their children's alcohol consumption.
    • September 2004: Second phase challenged the review of attitudes to drink in the context of celebration of Junior Cert exam results.
    • Easter 2005 and run up to St. Patricks Day 2005 and St. Patricks Day 2006, the third phase:
      • Challenged the review of attitudes to drink in the context of national festivals as well.
      • Appealed to off-licensees to take great care not to sell alcohol to under 18s.
      • Appealed to adults not to purchase alcohol for under-age teenagers.
      • Urged young adults urging them not to over-indulge in alcohol.
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IMPACT

  • The campaign undertaken prior to the September 2004 exam results reached:
    • 59,732 (52%) of all 15 -16 year olds and 367,920 (73%) of all parents with 15 - 16 year olds with the radio advertisments.
    • 92,000 (55%) of parents with 10 - 15 year olds and 1,150,815 (39%) of the total adult population with the press advertisements.
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EVALUATION

  • In order to gain a better understanding of the nature of the underage drinking problem in Ireland, pre-evaluation research (Behaviour & Attitudes Marketing Research Ltd. - separate focus-group studies with parents/teenagers and nationwide survey of 400 12-17 year olds) was carried out.
  • Results showed that half of the country's 16 and 17 year olds drank alcohol "regularly" and that at home drinking by parents was a key influencer of their children. It also showed that few parents knew "what was the right thing to do" or were worried about being too dogmatic and setting unrealistic rules for their under 18's as regards their childrend's alcohol consumption. It was clear that parents were looking for help and consistent rules and guidelines.
  • Furthermore, 1 in 3 of 12 /13 year olds, 2 in 3 of 14 /15 year olds, and 4 in 5 of 16/17 year olds considered it easy to get alcohol  with the youngest group taking it from home or getting it from friends. By 14/15, many approached strangers to buy it from them and 16/17 year olds said they used these various sources, with some confident enough to buy from licensed premises.

 
  • Evaluation Easter 2005 showed that a need for an increase in advertising spend was highlighted and that this type of campaign resulted in consumers examining their attitudes to alcohol in more detail.
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