Advertising of alcoholic beverages is a potential public health issue if it can be shown that advertising has a direct and material effect on alcohol consumption. A substantial proportion of alcohol advertising reaches an underage audience and is presented in a style that is attractive to youths. The objective of the research was to assess the impact of beer advertisements in the decision of adolescents to drink beer in selected high schools of Shashemene town, West Arsi zone, Ethiopia. Institutional (school) based cross-sectional survey design was used where the process of data collection was undertaken at a point of time. Survey research method was used in which structured questionnaire was designed and distributed to 300 purposively selected boys and girls between 15 & 17 years old. A pilot study was undertaken before the actual data collection processes. Data cleaning, coding, organizing activities were undertaken after data collection. Then, data were entered in to SPSS version 20 for further analysis after which descriptive statistical tools were utilized for presentation. Adolescents in the study area are highly exposed to beer advertisements. Beer advertisements have brought both psychological and practical consequences on research participants. This consequence ranges from predisposing respondents to develop favorable attitude towards beer (18%), influencing them to drink beer (12.7%) to increasing their motivation to drink beer for the sake of trying to win lotteries (12%). The broadcasting of beer advertisements both on the electronic and the social media have brought remarkable impact on adolescents’ alcohol drinking behavior in the study area. Therefore, the danger associated to alcohol marketing practices in Ethiopia calls for an effective enforcement of existing and newly proclaimed relevant legal codes.
Keywords: advertisement, alcohol, adolescents, exposure, Shashemene