Reducing harm caused by alcohol


Young people and their views on alcohol marketing

Alcohol Focus Scotland recently delivered online focus group sessions with young people to provide them with the opportunity to share their views on alcohol and alcohol marketing in their daily lives. This has given us an insight into how young people of different ages and areas of the country feel about the message they receive about alcohol.

We asked the young people about where they see alcohol and what they think of it. The below word cloud shows the breadth of places they encounter alcohol.

YP Focus group word cloud 1


Each group shared their views and experiences of alcohol marketing and discussed issues such as the impact of alcohol messages, endorsement of products by prominent celebrities, alcohol adverts selling a lifestyle or aesthetic, sports sponsorship targeting specific audiences, gendering of alcohol products and using social media to allow others to be part of their own drinking experience.

During the focus group one participant explained how much of an impact alcohol marketing can have even when they’re not necessarily aware of it. They said it is  “ quite subconscious the way you take it in, because I personally wouldn't pay much attention to the adverts but like I could probably name off like half the alcohol brands that are on the TV anyway like off the top of my head. So yes, you take it in even if you think you are not paying attention and stuff… it will still be engrained in you in some way”.

This work will allow us to evidence the views of young people in relation to alcohol marketing and help us make relevant recommendations for the forthcoming Scottish Government consultation on alcohol marketing.  The outcomes from these groups will also help us further develop our plans for engaging with children, young people and the organisations who support them.

Youth Engagement Officer, Megan has also been sharing her thoughts about the engagement work we will be undertaking in the coming months and the impact of alcohol marketing on Scottish Family’s affected by Alcohol and Drugs’ podcast.  Listen to the Alcohol Shorts Podcast here.

If you work with any groups of young people and think they may be interested in participating in our engagement work or if you would like to know more about the work we have been undertaking, please contact Megan (Youth Engagement Officer) at