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African American youth are widely exposed to alcohol advertising in a variety of media, including internet videos, music, music videos, television, magazines, and billboards. Although fewer African American teens consume alcohol than teens of other ethnicities, their alcohol consumption is still a major public health issue, with alcohol being a contributory factor to three leading causes of death: homicides, suicides, and accidents (including car crashes). Over the long term, African Americans are actually more likely to die of alcohol-related causes than other ethnicities and alcohol consumption has other significant negative effects on employment and income.
A particular worry is that marketers increasingly have created brands and advertising campaigns that appear targeted at African-American youth. In particular, hip-hop music routinely portrays excessive alcohol consumption in a positive light, more so than other musical genres. Product placements in and sponsorship of hip-hop celebrities may increase African-American teen drinking.
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