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Seeing celebrities like David Beckham and Mila Kunis promote alcohol fuels teenagers into alcohol abuse, study warns

SEEING celebs advertise booze tempts teens into drinking, a study warns.

Stars including David Beckham, Mila Kunis and Jean-Claude Van Damme all plug alcohol.

Supplied by Alpha David Beckham's The Haig Club was launched in 2014
Mila Kunis has advertised Jim Beam's bourbon whiskey

More than 3,300 Brits aged 11 to 19 were asked how often they had seen alcohol marketing over the past month in sources ranging from billboards, TV and mags, to social media, sport and sponsorship.

Medium to high awareness upped the chance of “higher risk drinking”. And the most common sources of marketing awareness were TV adverts and celebrity endorsements. Meanwhile youngsters who owned branded alcohol merchandise were more likely to start boozing.

Almost half of the teens quizzed were already drinking. Overall, 21 per cent were classed as “higher risk” drinkers, according to the findings published in the online journal BMJ Open.

Three-quarters (76 per cent) were under 18, the legal age for buying alcohol. Most lived in England, with their parents or other family members, and were in some form of education.

Researchers say that '360 degree' marketing strategies have created several ways in which young people can be exposed to alcohol marketing – and it may now be time to look at how the level of exposure could be reduced.

At least half the sample recalled 32 instances of alcohol marketing within the past month, with one in 10 of the sample reporting daily or nearly daily awareness from three of the nine marketing channels.

Study author Dr Nathan Critchlow, of Scotland’s Stirling University, called for action.

He said: "Further scrutiny and examination of the UK's self-regulatory approach and viable alternatives are needed to identify feasible, appropriate and effective means of reducing marketing exposure in young people."

Alcohol producers insisted there was no proof of “any causal link between promotion and drinking choices”.

Jean-Claude Van Damme has plugged Coors lager
David Beckham raises a glass to new venture

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