Module 5: young people, society and AOD: learner's workbook

4.4 Marketing of alcohol and tobacco to young people

Page last updated: 2004


Advertising for alcohol products remains legal in all forms of media although there are some restrictions. Clearly the manufacturers of alcoholic drinks are trying to make their products appear attractive to young people. People who drink are usually beautiful, sophisticated, sexy and popular - attributes considered very important to young people.

Task - writing exercise

Question - Identify some commercials that target a younger market.

Answer - (Write your answer, then check the possible answers page.)


Young people are particularly vulnerable to advertising and marketing. They want to look and act cool. Advertising for tobacco products has virtually ceased in Australia. Sponsorship of sport is one of the remaining ways for tobacco companies to openly market their products. Promotions where attractive young women offer free cigarettes also occur, although this is usually limited to licensed venues.

Tobacco companies now take advantage of one of their last refuges: the retailer selling the tobacco. Called 'point of sale' advertising, retailers such as corner shops and service stations often display advertising as well as a large wall of cigarette packets which become de-facto advertising. It seems that tobacco companies are also paying for 'product placement' of their brands in films and television to get around the laws and to market their products to young people, who are big filmgoers.

Advertising restrictions vary across Australian states and territories. Some do not allow any 'point of sale' advertising and cigarettes are kept under the counter.

Task - writing exercise

Question - Look at cigarette retailers in your area. What restrictions apply?