Society of African Journal Editors

African Journal of Drug and Alcohol Studies

Anywhere, everywhere: alcohol industry promotion strategies in Nigeria and their influence on young people

Authors: Emeka W. Dumbili, Clare Williams

Journal: African Journal of Drug and Alcohol Studies

Despite the increase in alcohol marketing activities by the transnational alcohol corporations in Nigeria, little research has focused on their impact on young people’s drinking behaviours. Using empirical data from in-depth interviews with 31, 19 to 23-year olds from a Nigerian university, this study explores students’ awareness of promotional activities on and around campus and the extent to which sales promotion influences their alcohol consumption. The data were analysed to generate themes with the aid of NVivo software. Sales promotion is common on campus and around students’ off-campus residential and leisure sites. Students’ awareness of, and exposure to promotional activities were high, to the extent that they identified the sales promotion strategies that are particular to students’ environments, the specific alcohol companies that use each strategy and the particular bars where promotions are held. Whilst sales promotions offering free alcohol and price discounts influenced men to buy and consume larger quantities of alcohol than they had intended, the actions of sales personnel also engendered impulse purchasing and the consumption of more potent brands. The women were also influenced by sales staff to consume more alcohol than originally planned, although their main motivation for participating in sales promotions was to win ‘giveaways’ such as cars, electronic gadgets and other branded paraphernalia. The findings indicate that while effective monitoring of alcohol promotions and related marketing strategies should be reinforced, the government may also give serious consideration to more evidence-based regulatory measures rather than relying on marketing self-regulations. Keywords: Alcohol Marketing, Nigeria, Policy, Sales Promotion, Students