Alcohol availability is strongly related to excessive alcohol consumption. This study aims to examine social marketing’s response to concerns about retailers’ noncompliance with the minimum legal drinking age (MLDA) law by proposing and evaluating a social marketing intervention directed at sellers in off-premise stores.
The study is based on a non-randomized quasi-experimental design, focusing on an evaluation of the implementation of the “18 rules!” intervention in four cities in Slovenia. Two waves of underage purchase attempts were conducted pre- and post-intervention in 24 off-premise businesses, following a mystery shopping protocol.
The initial rate of retailers’ noncompliance with the MLDA law in off-premise establishments was high. After the social marketing intervention, an increase with compliance with the law was observed; the proportion of cashiers selling alcohol to minors after the intervention decreased from 96 to 67 per cent. Qualitative insight suggests an existence of retailers’ dilemma in complying with the MLDA.
A social marketing approach could contribute to a better understanding of the social working of the MLDA law.
A social marketing approach could complement the usual enforcement strategies and contribute to a better understanding of the social working of the MLDA law, and encourage deliberate retailers’ compliance with it while developing valuable exchanges among people and stakeholders.
The paper conceptualizes retailers’ dilemma in complying with the minimal legal drinking age law and offers social marketing response to it. Results of the study show that also solely non-coercive measures have the potential in increasing retailers’ compliance with regulations.
The authors would like to thank the three anonymous reviewers and the Journal of Social Marketing editors for their valuable comments on an earlier draft of this paper. We would also like to thank Urška Kolar and Vesna Grilj for their dedicated work with “18 je zakon!” project on the field and Maja Zorko (National Institute of Public Health, Slovenia) for her expert contribution to the project.
This study was funded by a grant of Ministry of Health of Republic of Slovenia within program “Resni.ca: Raziskava o vidnosti in dostopnosti tobačnih in alkoholnih izdelkov med mladimi v Sloveniji” (C2711-13-708326). The funder played no role in study design, collection, analysis and interpretation of data neither in the decision to submit the paper for publication. They accept no responsibility for contents.
Kamin, T. and Kokole, D. (2016), "Midstream social marketing intervention to influence retailers’ compliance with the minimum legal drinking age law", Journal of Social Marketing, Vol. 6 No. 2, pp. 104-120. https://doi.org/10.1108/JSOCM-05-2015-0030Download as .RIS
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