Incidental Alcohol Appearances in Advertisements on City Buses in Manhattan, New York City: A Descriptive Study

  • Corey H. BaschEmail author
  • Kristina Berger
  • Charles E. Basch
Original Paper


This paper describes incidental exposure to alcohol in advertisements on buses in Manhattan, New York City. From April to July 2019, researchers observed advertisements on all bus lines in Manhattan and coded the content of these advertisements, including the kinds of products and services advertised and whether alcoholic beverages or images were present. Despite a ban on direct alcohol beverage advertising within the Metropolitan Transit Authority in 2017 (and expanded in 2019), almost one in five of the 136 advertisements observed (n = 25) included incidental exposure to images of alcohol portrayed in a favorable way and/or associated with well-known movie stars and television personalities. Advertisements on city buses are unlike any other, as they traverse the city streets and create considerable exposure to residents, including youth. This study demonstrates that banning advertisements for alcohol will not necessarily restrict favorable images containing alcohol and that youth continue to be exposed to these images.


Alcohol Advertising Children Indicators Healthy cities Marketing Social determinants of health Urban policy 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflicts of interest

None of the authors report conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Public HealthWilliam Paterson UniversityWayneUSA
  2. 2.New YorkUSA
  3. 3.Department of Health and Behavior Studies, Teachers CollegeColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA

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