Heineken and Google partnership ‘to reach 103 million’ children and young people a month

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International beer producer Heineken has signed a digital advertising contract with Google that will help guarantee increased exposure of the beer brand to young consumers across multi-media platforms.

The deal will see Heineken running advertisements across YouTube’s desktop and mobile channels.

According to MarketingWeek.co.uk, the agreement spans 20 countries and ‘will see the Dutch brand execute homepage takeovers and use pre-roll ad slots on Google’s YouTube site’.

The deal will also likely mean that at least 103 million children and young people around the world will be exposed to the harmful effects of alcohol marketing on a monthly basis, according to the European Centre for Monitoring Alcohol Marketing (EUCAM).

Alcohol Action Ireland, the national charity for alcohol-related issues, has voiced its concerns about the deal.

Charity Director Fiona Ryan: “Considering the consequences of alcohol marketing – that it influences young people to start drinking at an earlier age and to drink more if they are already drinking – such a deal is worrying and one which needs to be highlighted.”

In 2010, the charity commissioned research into young people’s exposure to alcohol marketing, including online alcohol advertising.

The Alcohol Action Ireland / Behaviour & Attitudes research was a nationally representative survey of the population, aged 16 and over.

It found that among 16 to 21-year-olds, alcohol ads represented five out of their top ten favourite ads.

The survey also elicited young people’s reports of exposure to alcohol marketing in online worlds – among the 16 to 17 year old age group, one in three said they had seen an ad or pop-up for an alcohol product on their social networking page, while one in five said they had received an online quiz about alcohol or drinking.

“The increasing presence of alcohol brands online is alarming, considering the internet is such a popular medium for young people. We need to put in place effective measures that will limit the amount of alcohol brands a young person is exposed to when they turn on their computers,” Ms Ryan added.

To view the full results of Alcohol Action Ireland/Behavior & Attitudes research, click here