Research published in the Journal of Business Research has concluded that government campaigns focused on anti-drinking messages are ineffective for the young binge drinking population. Binge drinkers that fall into the young population constitute this level of drinking as part of their social identity, and campaigns to tackle excessive drinking do not tend to work within groups that are motivated by a social norm. Researchers from Royal Holloway, University of London, and three other UK universities explain that targeted interventions may be a better use of funding. Professor Chris Hackley comments further:

“The insight that heavy drinking can be part of a rule-breaking sub-culture may seem obvious, yet huge sums have been spent in the past on Government anti-drinking advertising campaigns that simply fuel the sense that sensible drinking is boring and conformist, while binge drinking is subversive fun. Government messages that say ‘drink sensibly’ ignore the ways many young people actually enjoy drinking. This research also has implications for other areas of Government health policy, where compulsive and excessive consumption can sometimes be fuelled by a need to defy and subvert official rules.”

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