Some commentators have suggested that mass media campaigns are more likely to be effective when they are:
– well-resourced and enduring
– target a clearly defined audience
– are based on advanced marketing strategies that effectively target, communicate with, and have relevance for, and credibility with, the audience
– provide a credible message to which the audience is frequently exposed.³
I would add that they need to be integrated with other prevention initiatives, which has not been the norm in the alcohol field (apart from drink driving, where highly visible random breath tests have been supported by a robust media campaign). This approach to education has been adopted more consistently for tobacco harm prevention. For example, campaigns have been integrated with strategies that directly address access to tobacco and environmental controls (where you can and cannot smoke). This could be why there is evidence that education campaigns are an important part of reducing smoking, whereas there is little supporting evidence about the impact of education campaigns on alcohol-related harm.