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Nature of events and alcohol-related content in marketing materials at a university freshers’ fair

A study explored the nature of activities and alcoholrelated content in marketing materials from studentled societies and local businesses provided to students, at a university freshers’ fair in the UK.

All marketing materials handed out at the fair were collected across the 5-day event in September 2015. Written and visual content was analysed using a summative qualitative content analysis.

Most student-led societies promoted social events they were hosting (n = 530), most of which took place in a drinking venue or referred to drinking (n = 335). Only four explicitly alcohol-free events were promoted. Student-led societies also promoted activities relating to their interest, e.g. sports training (n = 519), a small proportion of which had references to drinking and drinking venues (n = 54). Three societies provided promotional handouts from local bars or nightclubs. Local bars, pubs and nightclubs promoted events they hosted (n = 81) as well as alcoholic drink promotions (n = 79) and alcohol branded advertising (n = 22), albeit infrequently for the latter.

The authors conclude that in the first week of university, students are exposed to alcohol-related events, promotions and advertising, which may act as an incentive to participate in drinking.

Source: Nature of events and alcohol-related content in marketing materials at a university freshers’ fair: a summative content analysis, Fuller A; Fleming KM; Szatkowski L; Bains M, Journal of Public Health, Published early online 15 December 2017

doi.org/10.1093/pubmed/ fdx181

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