Background: Awareness and knowledge ofthe link between alcohol and cancer is low. The Western Australian ‘Alcohol and Cancer’ campaign aimed to increase women's awareness that alcohol causes cancer, and of Australia’s national guidelines to reduce the health risks from drinking alcohol. Three waves of paid mass media advertising were conducted from 2010 to 2011.
Aim: To evaluate the short-term impact on the ‘Alcohol and Cancer’ social marketing campaign.
Methods: Cross-sectional on-line surveys of approximately 150 Western Australian women aged 25 to 54 years were conducted prior to the campaign and immediately after Wave I and Wave III of the campaign to assess women’s awareness of the campaign, knowledge about the links between alcohol and cancer, perceptions of risk, and drinking behaviour. Logistic regression analyses examined differences by evaluation survey in awareness and reactions to the campaign (Survey 1 vs. Survey 2) and knowledge and intentions (Baseline vs. Survey 1; Baseline vs. Survey 2), controlling for age group, location, education level, household composition and drinking behaviour.
Results: Prompted recognition of the campaign increased from 67% at Survey 1 to 81% at Survey 2 (Adj. OR=2.31, 95% CI=1.33-4.00, p=0.003). Improvements in women’s knowledge that drinking alcohol on a regular basis increases cancer risk were found at Survey 1 (Adj. OR=2.60, 95% CI=1.57-4.30, p<0.001) and Survey 2 (Adj. OR=4.88, 95% CI=2.55-9.36, p<0.001) compared with Baseline. Knowledge of the recommended number of standard drinks for low risk in the long-term increased from Baseline to Survey 1 (Adj. OR=1.68, 95% CI=1.02-2.76, p=0.041), but not Baseline to Survey 2 (Adj. OR=1.42, 95% CI=0.84-2.39, p=0.191). Among women who drink alcohol, likelihood and intentions for drinking did not change between surveys.
Conclusions: The ‘Alcohol and Cancer’ campaign reached the target audience and successfully raised women's awareness of links between alcohol and cancer, and knowledge of the alcohol guidelines.