Alcohol Action Ireland invites tenders from qualified individuals and organisations to conduct research to measure young people’s exposure to, and awareness of, alcohol marketing in Ireland

Children and young people, as a population group, are at increased risk of alcohol-related health and social harms.

Irish young people’s drinking demonstrates worrying trends in relation to alcohol use as the most recent survey of drinking among European 15 and 16-year-olds (ESPAD 2007) shows:

  • 42% reported binge-drinkingin the last month
  • Over half (54%) reported being drunk at least once by the age of 16
  • Thesurvey identified “a major issue around drunkenness”

From a public health perspective there is a dual goal: delay the onset of first drinking and reduce alcohol consumption levels of those already drinking.

The World Health Organisation has recommended governments take action on price, availability and the marketing of alcohol if they want to reduce alcohol related harm. Marketing is a complex interplay of product, price, place and promotion, strategically combined to drive sales of a product.

A number of key international reviews based on longitudinal studies have concluded that alcohol marketing increases the likelihood that young people will drink sooner and if already drinking, that they will drink more (Science Group, European Alcohol and Health Forum, 2009; Anderson, 2009).

In Ireland, alcohol marketing is subject to a regulatory framework based largely on voluntary codes agreed between the Department of Health and Children, the alcohol industry and the advertising industry. The codes have two stated aims:

  • To reduce the exposure of young people to alcohol advertising and marketing
  • To limit the overall level of alcohol advertising and sponsorship across all media in Ireland

To date, there has been no baseline measurement of young people’s exposure to alcohol marketing. This research will establish such a baseline. A necessary pre-requisite of the research is that it be capable of being repeated at regular intervals in order to monitor and evaluate change with a view to informing evidence-based policy and the development of an effective regulatory framework which will reduce young people’s exposure to alcohol marketing.

The study will

  • Include a literature review of relevant research
  • Establish a baseline measure of young people’s exposure/awareness of alcohol marketing – young people being defined as in the age range of 13 to 21
  • Document and map all forms of commercial communications on alcohol/alcohol marketing (type, volume, media used, relationship to each other and potentially expenditure)
  • Examine how alcohol is marketed in Ireland. Which alcohol marketing practices could be considered particularly appealing to children and young people?
  • Are there particular brands/ types of drinks which use these practices?
  • Examine the degree to which all alcohol marketing practices are included in existing codes and regulations
  • Explore if codes and regulations sufficiently capture all commercial communications and practices in alcohol marketing
  • Produce research capable of being repeated in order to gauge change
  • Produce research that could inform the design of an effective monitoring and evaluation framework which reduces the exposure of children and young people to the alcohol marketing mix

It is important to state that the research does not need to establish a link between drinking patterns and exposure to alcohol marketing which would necessitate a longitudinal study. To that end it will be expected, however, that the research will include some brief measures on behaviour and intentions in order to look for associations between marketing exposure, awareness and behaviour.

It is expected the study will make use of mixed methods.

Minimum Requirements of the Proposal

Proposals will detail:

  • The approach to be adopted to each element of the project including, but not limited to, study design, sampling, recruitment, consent, data collection, data management and analysis, and reporting
  • How your approach compares with approaches used in other jurisdictions and good practice in research
  • Any methodological or ethical issues that may arise and how you propose to address these
  • The project plan detailing the proposed methods, ethical approval, recruitment, permissions, consent, outputs and timescale
  • A detailed schedule of action, identifying key milestones corresponding to each stage of the project, will be expected from applicants; phased payment will be contingent on delivering specified outputs in relation to each milestone
  • The tenderer’s capacity to carry out the work within the agreed timescale
  • An outline of the experience and qualifications of each member of the research team and how these related to the proposed project (including a brief CV for all those who will have input)
  • An overall project costing including VAT and excluding VAT
  • Contact details of two referees
  • Tax clearance certificate

Project governance

The person/s conducting the research will report to Alcohol Action Ireland which will be supported in this capacity by a research advisory group. A research advisory group will be established reflecting a spectrum of marketing and research expertise. It will

  • In the first instance, review applications and make recommendations regarding the awarding of the research contract
  • In the second instance, support the research process and complement the knowledge and experience of the research team

The research team will submit all outputs, including draft and final reports, to the research advisory group. Researchers will report at designated stages of the project, to be agreed.

Ownership of all research data (soft and hard copies) and outputs rests with Alcohol Action Ireland as will decisions on all aspects of dissemination including publication.

Project costs and timeline

The total budget available for this project inclusive of VAT is €100,000.

Tenders should clearly and individually cost each element of the work outlined in the proposal and the sum should include staff costs (and where relevant, third party expenses), and VAT. Payment will be phased and linked to progress. A payment schedule will be agreed with the successful applicant. No additional fees except those originally quoted will be paid and additional costs will be a matter for the contractors themselves.

The person/s conducting the research will be issued with a contract.


Any queries relating to the research should be directed to


Three hard copies of the proposal should be submitted to:

Fiona Ryan

Director Alcohol Action Ireland

Butler Court,

25, Great Strand St, rear

Dublin 1

An electronic copy of the proposal must also be submitted to the following email address, on or after the hard copy deadline:

The deadline for receipt of completed proposals is:

Thursday, 1 September 2011