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Ad Linking Alcohol to Cancer Effective at Curbing Drinking: Study

Sydney: A graphic Australian advertisement that highlights the link between alcohol and cancer has been nominated by drinkers as the most effective to curb their alcohol intake, reported The Guardian.

According to the report, the video advertisement, titled Spread, was developed and funded by the Western Australia government. It shows alcohol being absorbed into the bloodstream, spreading and causing cancerous cell mutations in the liver, bowel and throat.

Researchers led by renowned international behavioural scientist Professor Melanie Wakefield tested 83 English-language alcohol advertisements from around the world on 2,174 Australian adults who regularly consume alcohol.

Study participants ranked each advertisement on a five-point scale, with a score of “one” representing a low motivation to reduce drinking after viewing and “five” representing high motivation to reduce drinking after viewing.

Spread ranked the highest with an average score of 3.77 and was favoured across a range of groups including men, women, young and older adults, and low and high-risk drinkers.

Four out of the top 10 most effective advertisements were from Australia and of those, all were from Western Australia.

The least motivating ad, from New Zealand, was titled Add Nothing, and encouraged drinking water instead of beer. The results were published on Thursday in the medical journal BMJ Open.

The McCusker Centre for Action on Alcohol and Youth gave input into the development of the highest-ranked ad.

The centre’s executive officer, Julia Stafford, said Spread was successful because experts in the field had been approached for input.

According to the Cancer Council of Australia, more than 3,200 cases of cancer each year could be prevented nationally if people limited their alcohol consumption.