Use of imagery

Brown and Locker (2009) conducted a study to examine differences in responses to emotive (e.g., severe health consequences) and non-emotive imagery (e.g., intoxicated individuals) that could be used in anti-alcohol messages.  There findings suggest that distressing (highly emotive) images coupled with both high denial and vulnerability to alcohol-related problems result in lower perceived risk estimates. Jones and Gregory  (2010) used focus groups to explore views on alcohol warning labels amongst students and found that students thought that pictorial warnings would be more effective than text-only warnings.


Conclusion: There is a need for research that compares text–based messages against pictorial messages.  Research is also needed to assess different levels of “graphicness” as has been done within the tobacco control area (e.g., Kees et al., 2010). Currently there is not enough evidence to determine whether or not graphic alcohol labels would be effective.  Lastly, use of symbols has been found to increase noticeability of warnings (e.g., Laughery et al., 1993).