Alcohol consumption is a serious public health problem worldwide. Teenage drinking has been shown to cause negative effects not just at the time of consumption, but throughout life. [1,2,3]. There are alcohol-related issues, such as alcohol-related harassment, unprotected sex, violence, non-communicable diseases, and job loss [4,5,6,7]. Therefore, the global community has made a strong commitment to reducing alcohol abuse at every stage of life. . A recommended strategy is to participate in the World Health Organization’s SAFER initiative, which includes five cost-effective interventions to reduce alcohol-related harm: (1) tighten restrictions on alcohol availability, ( 2) Advancing and Enforcing Drinking and Driving Countermeasures, (3) Facilitating Access to Testing, Brief Interventions, and Treatment, (4) Enforcing Bans or Comprehensive Restrictions on Advertising, Sponsorship and alcohol promotion, and (5) increase alcohol prices through excise taxes and pricing policies [9, 10].
Intervention number four listed above mentions the ban on advertising for the sale of alcoholic beverages. An example of an intervention that enforces bans or implements comprehensive restrictions on alcohol advertising, sponsorship and promotion is the regulation of advertising for the marketing of alcoholic beverages. Advertisements for alcoholic beverages attract not only adults but also minors, especially teenagers, and increase their willingness to purchase and consume alcohol [11,12,13]. Even adolescents’ short-term exposure to alcohol advertisements is associated with positive thoughts about drinking and increased drinking [1,2,3, 14]. These findings have supported governments, civil societies and other communities in many countries in their attempts to secure full or partial bans on television advertising.
In fact, around 80% of G20 countries have legally binding regulations on alcoholic beverage advertising in all forms of media, banning alcohol advertising in whole or in part. .
The minimum legal age to purchase and consume alcoholic beverages in Japan is 20 years old. However, Japan does not have legally binding regulations for alcoholic beverage advertising in any form of media. [15, 16]. On the contrary, alcohol advertising in the country is self-regulated by the Japanese alcohol industry through the voluntary standards of advertising, promotion of alcoholic beverages and labeling of alcoholic beverage containers.  and is exclusive. The alcoholic beverage advertising evaluation committee of the Alcohol Health and Medicine Association was formed by nine organizations in the alcoholic beverage industry: the Japan Sake and Shochu Makers Association, the Nippon Distillers Association, Brewers Association of Japan, Japan Spirits & Liqueurs Makers Association, Japan Wineries Association, Japan Wholesalers Association, Japan Liquor Merchants Association, Japan Wine & Spirits Importers Association and Japan Brewers Association. The committee reviewed and approved all complaints regarding alcoholic beverage advertising and discussed compliance with standards and other issues.
According to Japanese industry guidelines, television commercials for alcoholic beverages must not be broadcast from 5 a.m. to 6 p.m.; therefore, advertisements for alcoholic beverages may run from 6 p.m. to 5 a.m. The self-regulatory guidelines include statements that television and radio sponsors should be careful in including (1) advertisements for alcoholic beverages in programs that are demonstrably produced with the plan that at least 70% of the audience for the program will be 20 years of age or older; (2) advertisements for alcoholic beverages should be avoided as much as possible immediately before and after television and radio broadcasts intended for persons under the age of 20, and (3) no advertisements should be placed in the programs television, radio programmes, newspapers, magazines, the Internet or brochures intended for persons under the age of 20. Japanese teens’ popular TV viewing time is reportedly 6-11 p.m. weekdays and weekends and 6-9 a.m. weekdays . Therefore, teens may be exposed to alcohol commercials on television during unrestricted hours.
Awareness that alcohol has effects on visceral fat and the liver has led to increased consumption of alcohol-flavored soft drinks (AFNAB) . According to a recent report on the non-alcoholic and low-alcohol beverage market, the sale of non-alcoholic and low-alcohol beverages in pubs, bars and restaurants increased by 48% in the 12 months to November 2019 . In 2019, the soft drink market in Japan was estimated at around 22.43 million cans (102% YoY), with the market size expected to increase in 2020 to around 22.66 million cans (101% YoY). year-on-year). year) . A box contains 20 bottles of 633 ml.
AFNABs may not be the only primer for the onset of alcohol use in adolescents, although alcohol and AFNAB use were significantly associated, and alcohol users replaced AFNABs by alcoholic beverages to meet their needs. . The contradiction between the industry’s actual marketing message for sale due to its business objectives and self-regulatory guidelines can hinder the delivery of a clear message to viewers, including teenagers and their parents. In the guidelines, AFNAB is considered an “alcoholic beverage”; however, there is no specification for time restriction of advertising hours.
Industry self-regulation alone is not enough to protect teens from alcohol marketing messages aimed at getting them to drink [23,24,25,26]. Thus, this study examined the model of alcoholic beverage television advertising practiced under self-regulation by industry associations, despite an exception to SAFER Requirement #4 to enforce bans or restrictions. guidelines on alcohol advertising, sponsorship and promotion.
Therefore, our research questions (RQs) were:
RQ1: Are self-regulated restrictions followed by the alcohol industry in advertising activities?
RQ2: Does alcohol advertising try to reach teenagers by increasing the number of advertisements when teenagers typically watch television?
RQ3: Does the alcohol industry use sporting events to promote alcoholic beverages more intensely?
RQ4: Does the alcohol industry use television programs aimed at children/teenagers to advertise alcoholic beverages?