LAA Alcohol Insight detailed feedback on key findings. Date September 2009. Hello!. The team. Belinda Miller Head of Insight. James Kirk Project Manager. Why are we here?. Present social marketing insights to inform two interventions designed to:. 1.
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LAA Alcohol Insight detailed feedback on key findings Date September 2009
Hello! The team Belinda MillerHead of Insight James Kirk Project Manager
Why are we here? Present social marketing insights to inform two interventions designed to: 1 reduce levels ofrisky drinking behavioursamong those who areunderage (under 16) 2 reduce levels ofrisky drinking behavioursin Lancashiretown/City centresamong 16-24 year olds Discuss ways of implementing the lessons from the projects.
our agenda Our approach Big picture context Underage drinking Town and City centre drinking Discussion and round up
The problem Damage to communities • half of all violent crime related to alcohol • pressure on health and police services • damage to urban environment with more vandalism and litter • increased fear of crime among citizens Damage to self • more accidents and injury, alcohol poisoning, risk of brain damage, increased rates of alcohol induced suicide among teenage girls, liver damage earlier in life • unsafe sex, drug taking, dangerous driving, trouble with the police, fires, domestic violence • absenteeism from education or work Young people are drinking more alcohol earlier and more frequently than ever before
Key facts • Alcohol is related to: • 67,000 hospital admissions/year (North West) • 35% of all A&E attendances and 70% weekend nights • Half of all assaults - 1.2 million incidents of which 1/5 are in and around pubs and clubs • 32% of domestic violence incidents - 500,000 victims • 1/3 to 1/7 accidental deaths and 16-41% of suicides • Young people three times as likely to have unprotected sex when drunk • Young binge drinkers three times as likely to have used drugs in last year than light drinkers
the policy response Partnerships with parents, police, communities and industry to reduce the sale of alcohol to under 18s and to promote responsible drinking Method Delivery Result Healthier lives, safer communities Information & enforcement Collaboration • Information – clear guidelines to help parents and young people make the right decisions • Enforcement – new police powers to stop young people drinking in public
Why? cause analysis Problem: Too much risky drinking among 13 – 25 year olds
Semiotic and cultural analysis context category campaign
the gap between government campaigns and aspirational product marketing Fantasy Key thought: The power of ideas and the imagination Negative Positive Key thought: Driven by certainty and confidence, about clarity and promise Key thought: Driven by lack of certainty, fear and pessimism, about prohibition and denial Key thought: Tangible, practical, material and palpable Reality
engaging stakeholders two workshops held with stakeholders: share knowledge of the barriers and opportunities help co-create potential solutions stakeholders from Lancashire Constabulary, NHS East Lancashire, Lancashire Fire and Rescue, Local Authority Licensing Group, Chorley/ South Ribble Council, UCLAN, Lancashire Youth Services, YOT, Trading Standards
engaging stakeholders – key themes key aspects of successful interventions include: partnership working across many stakeholders to ensure a consistent message and integrated approach peer led discussion about factors that encourage alcohol use and the need for individuals to make their own decisions provision of basic facts about alcohol and the risks involved support services including outreach workers and drop in centres to counsel young people media and grass roots programmes aimed at changing young people’s perception of drinking norms for partying strong message on enforcement – sticks including fines, confiscation and campaigns against proxy sales
Understanding our audience Town/city centre drinking highest among C2DE 16 – 24 yr olds and those living away from home Underage drinking highest among deprived groups Profiling using TGI to develop pen portrait of audience groups according to demographics, lifestyles, brand preferences and behaviour
typical underage profile ‘friendship is the most important thing in my life’ ‘I like to enjoy life and don’t worry about the future’ • Josh is almost 14 – he feels very grown up and resents still being treated like a kid by his parents. His friends are everything and he will do what it takes to fit in. He feels under pressure to do well at school and this is often rewarded with extra freedom which he craves. He connects to the world through his computer and mobile and music is his way of escaping. He enjoys watching Hollyoaks and Skins on TV and getting something for nothing like magazine freebies.
typical underage profile • Hedonistic dreamer, lack self confidence - goes along with things for fear of rejection. 47% 26% 20% 15% 13% ‘I try to do the right thing but stuff just happens and you get carried away’ ‘I like spending time on my own’ ‘I have lots of freedom’ • Jen is 16 and is becoming more self conscious and less likely to want to be the centre of attention. She enjoys more freedom these days and is experimenting with all sorts of things especially drinking and smoking. She has more privacy now and her parents are less aware of where she is going and who she is with. Hanging out with friends is still top priority but she is more concerned about having a small number of really close mates she can talk to and is not as influenced by the crowd as she used to be. She still rates Jordan, Britney and Maddona as her role models. She believes her sexual freedom is important and likes to feel attractive but lacks confidence and can have a poor body image.
typical town and city centre profile • Sarah is 18 and has left school. She can’t get a job and doesn’t really know what she’s going to do in life. She likes to enjoy herself and regularly goes out drinking with her mates and goes out to get drunk. She loves to keep up to date on the latest celebrity news and buys several glossy mags a week. Sarah doesn't worry about the future and loves to buy things on impulse. She doesn’t think that health checks are important as life is for living now. She feels like she knows it all and is strongly independent.
Underage drinking qualitative findings for 13-15 year olds and their parents
1:1 depth 2 hr interviews with a matched sample of 16 young people aged 13-15 and their parents to: probe deep personal values underlying behaviour explore parental influence alongside perceptions of young people themselves. gain depth insight and understanding of the motivations and perceived benefits of risky drinking determine the barriers to reducing alcohol consumption identify what message and approach would encourage young people and parents/carers to meet behavioural goals delaying onset of drinking reducing the intention of drinking to “just to get drunk“ reducing numbers of under 16’s who access alcohol through parents reducing associated antisocial behaviour and criminal damage methodology and sample - underage
interviews took place across 5 locations Skelmersdale underage drinkers
Key findings Lifestyles, attitudes and behaviours Knowledge and understanding Motivations, benefits and barriers Reactions to ideas Summary and conclusions
life • measure quality of life in terms of fun and freedom • “kid-ults” caught between feeling young and powerless and on the brink of greater independence • live for today, the future feels a long way off • crave independence and autonomy, reducing the hold that parents have over them • object to being stereotyped and labelled - misunderstood as ‘teenagers’ • place most value on friendships which are centre stage as a refuge of trust, fun and shared understanding • do feel pressured and stressed, some describing the weight of school, family, relationships • ‘ I want more freedom, more responsibility’ • ‘The best thing about being 13 is that you can get away with more stuff’
aspirations do not aspire to be like their parents do aspire to be more like older teenagers, 17-20’s role models among older siblings, older kids in school and in the media use drinking to move closer to a world that appears much more ‘exciting’ and ‘free’ than their own drinking is not yet legal, and accessing it feels like a rebellious and thrilling way to express their “right to choose” and enter a more adult world • ‘It’s bad, its not legal but its good!’
‘I’m more of a grown up than a child’ They crave a version of adulthood that they perceive as increased freedom, increased understanding and increased trust from others. They need to feel that they are being treated like an individual, rather than a label ‘teenager’
parents and carers • ‘they are doing their best’ • a key time of transition in parental relationships when young people are most vulnerable to external pressures • parents caught between offering greater freedom and trying to keep their children from abusing it • feels like walking a tightrope between enabling more independence whilst trying to teach them to use that independence with responsibility • parents know they need to be positive role models but don’t find this easy • describe life as a daily challenge of trying to lay down boundaries - many feel anxious and powerless • overall say that they are doing the best they can in the interests of keeping the peace • ‘‘the moods are a nightmare, sometimes you give in’
‘You’re more of a child than a grown up’ parents are caught in a control cycle, on the one hand trying to give their kids more independence, and at the same time trying to assert control over ‘risky’ behaviour. The majority feel that they are doing a decent job and are very sensitive to any implied criticism
daily life is a battle for the balance of independence drinking, for both young people and their parents plays a central role in this battle of independence as a signifier of entry into a more gown up world
attitudes to drinking drinking is a rite of passage engrained in our culture and learned through observation from an early age dominant attitude that drinking is an accepted way to socialise and have fun – a representation of adult play with its ability to loosen inhibitions and let go some young people see it as the only way to socialise and have fun belief that ‘in moderation’ drinking is the cultural norm – reinforced by everyday behaviours of those around them, media and popular culture young people want to enter into this world as they strive to adulthood and parents accept their drinking from a young age as ‘inevitable’ ‘they all do it, they do it to fit in’ there is a need to connect to the bigger cultural and social drivers to drinking, and respond to the mainstream normalisation of the behaviour
the dominant idea of drinking is very positive the idea of drinking for 13-15 year olds means 2 things: fun power drinking is a ‘laugh’ and a means to make them feel more powerful/grown up in a world where they can often feel powerless power connects to independence, which is all about being more free from adult control without having to become an adult ‘like their parents’ ‘US- HAVING A LAUGH’ Signifies fun, freedom, independence, adulthood, treat not everyday
the freedom dance the drinking freedom play feels very unclear for both sides and this is a barrier to knowing or acting out clear boundaries parents are leaving young people a lot of freedom to assess and act on the self diagnosis of ‘a safe amount” this is asking too much and might be abnegating their responsibility • ‘I have taught him to drink but in moderation’ • ‘I trust him more than I should, I know I do’ parents and underage drinkers are unclear about what freedom means in practice, both might benefit from establishing clear boundaries of shared responsibility around drinking
...an example of this lack of clarity • ‘I expect her to know her limit, her limit is whatever is going to upset dad’ • ‘my dad is asleep when I get home, so he doesn’t know how much I’ve had’
when did they start drinking? Mostly around age 13-14 - all know somebody who started younger majority think that drinking under 13 is ‘too young’ but that at 14 or 15 young people are ‘ready’ to drink physically and emotionally ‘Its not right legally, I don’t know it might be young, but loads of people are doing it and handling it’ ‘this is the age when you can handle testing yourself a bit’ parents say that children should start drinking later than 13-14, but most concede that this ‘is the age that they start’ to normalise their child’s behaviour drinking at this age is fine if done ‘in moderation’ the body can handle the physical impact of drink they think they are mature enough to be in control ‘you need to be old enough to handle the consequences’ • ‘‘if they start at 10 or 12 then they must have some serious emotional problems, my kid is just doing what all the other kids are doing’
the myth of ‘moderation’... • underage drinkers and parents see drinking as ‘ok’ as long as it is done in ‘moderation’, but there is no clear definition of what moderation means in practice and what exactly is an excessive amount • the language for moderation is ‘tipsy’ ‘giddy’ ‘dizzy’ • the whole space is ambiguous, relative and prone to multiple interpretations - moderation can mean anything that isn’t “alcoholism” • ‘If you’re not drinking spirits then that’s Ok’ • ‘If you drink everyday that’s bad’ communications needs to provide clarity on “moderation” without falling into the language of ‘units’ which can be even more confusing
underage drinkers have their first taste of alcohol at home consistent belief from parents that once young people reach 13 - 14 it becomes very difficult to stop them drinking and that trying to ban it will only make things worse the majority have their first taste of alcohol at home with their parents permission parents are allowing children as young as 12 to drink • ‘If you drive the behaviour under ground then you have real problems’ • ‘there is nothing wrong with a cheeky alcopop at a family bbq if the parents are there to supervise’ parents do not see moderate in home drinking as leading to more risky behaviour, they feel they are doing ‘the right thing’ by leading supervised drinking and need to be made aware without judgement that this could be the start of the risky drinking journey
underage drinkers are drinking in various locations “at friends houses with mates you know well” is the preferred venue with trusted people not strangers home feels safer than the street - warmer and cosier music and media to entertain you usually access to more drink in the house if you want it not going to get hassled by the police they will drink outside in parks when there is nowhere else to go for some the park can be better because it builds the feeling of an illicit ‘community’ and they like the danger of being ‘caught’ some drinking in their own home but this is less frequent (family parties) showing underage drinkers the risks associated with street drinking or pubs, bars, clubs does not represent how they are drinking in reality - they disconnect from risk because they drink in the relative safety of a friends house
they do not find it difficult to access alcohol young people say that it is ‘easy’ to get drink the quest to get hold of drink is part of the pleasure of the experience older friends/siblings have greater access and give it to them wait outside shops and get people to buy it for them know the shops that will serve them and travel to them parents and/or the home are a good access point parents give alcohol to them, at home or at family parties (how most of them start) young people take alcohol from the home without their parents knowing ‘I started drinking with stuff I robbed from my mum’s cupboard’ drink the alcohol kept at friends homes when the parent is not there or is home but not supervising communications should influence parents/the home as an alcohol access point
when they drink most drinking at least once a month usually Friday or Saturday night many drinking every weekend during term time, only 1 said that they drank during the week and they were also taking alcohol into school all are looking for opportunities to drink more and will seize opportunities when they come up the school holidays present a welcome opportunity to drink more ‘people drink loads more in the holidays, especially the summer, we get a right little community going in the park’ none see themselves as ‘frequent’ or ‘regular’ drinkers and so think they are immune from risk
how much are they drinking? some not drinking that much ( a few alcopops or beers twice a month) others drinking a mixture of vodka, beer, cider, shots, breezers every weekend more will be drunk at parties those who drink less do so because their friends don’t drink a lot they don’t get many opportunities to drink unsupervised they haven’t moved onto spirits/shots they have a higher awareness of personal safety issues and don’t want to get really drunk and not know what they are doing they don’t want their parents to catch them the edges of ‘moderation’ keep moving for underage drinkers and there is a risk that they will push their boundaries to learn and test their limits
most think they know their limits Don’t think that they have a problem because they believe they are in control of the amount they drink judge ‘over the limit’ by individual physical signs all say that you have to learn your limits through trial and error do stop drinking at a certain point in a night , but tend to be quite drunk by that stage in reality they aren’t pacing and are drinking a lot very quickly want to get to the feeling quickly want to get drunk before they have to sober up and go home have to be home by a certain time many test their limits through drinking games and competitions the language of limits is a grey area. Young people need to understand that the boundaries shift depending on what you drink, how fast, what you have eaten etc
it’s not always about getting drunk • the majority deny that they deliberately drink to get drunk but in reality many had experienced it and liked it • drunk is just something that ‘happens’ over the course of a night, not a pre determined decision • depends on how much drink is available • depends on how quickly you drink • whether you succumb to pressure/encouragement to drink more • once the mechanics of where, who and how to get the drink are decided, it is a story that unfolds, not a scenario that they consider beforehand • spontaneity and chance can be part of the thrill • ‘You don’t know what the drink is going to do, it’s the chance you take’ there may be potential in teaching young people to plan: what are they going to drink, how much, what kind of ending do they want to the night, what kind of person do they want to be?
“drunk” is linked to perceived control • drunk is understood by all as when you are ‘out of control’ - can be positive or negative depending on the degree of control lost • control is a relative rather than scientific measure - it is relatively ok to experience • slurring words, can’t walk straight or stand up, extreme emotions (angry, crying, depressed), throwing up • drunk becomes less acceptable when it means coming close to total loss of control: • not being able to stop yourself doing or saying things • not knowing what you are doing • passing out
underage drinkers see drink as a means to create a better version of themselves and want to be able to control the image they project to their peer community peer approval matters to underage drinkers as does the story that they create about themselves when they drink, they want to be talked about for the right reasons and not the wrong ones. peer shame is a potential area to leverage in communications, are they really in control of their own story?
understanding of the risks • for underage drinkers, personal safety is more top of mind than health • knowledge of health risks is low overall, unless people have had direct experience of somebody they know • physical health risks are seen as the domain of ‘alcoholics’ and certainly ‘not them’ • liver damage seen as the key health problem • some mention heart, stomach problems, killing off of brain cells (most of this information comes from school) • no mention of immediate health risk – alcoholic coma or overdose unless they know somebody close to them they do not see risks as relevant to them - communications needs to work to bring risk closer to reality