Performing solidarity? A scoping review of alcohol marketing to sexual and gender minorities

David Whiteley*, Deborah Rickards-Hill, Elena Dimova, Carol Emslie

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
43 Downloads (Pure)


Background: Harmful alcohol use is more prevalent among sexual and gender minorities (SGMs) than their cisgender/heterosexual counterparts. The reasons for this are complex, incorporating alcohol’s normalization and availability in social settings, its importance to identity construction, and drinking to cope with stigma and discrimination. However, commercial determinants have been underexplored, particularly how alcohol is marketed to SGM communities.

Methods: Scoping review methodology was employed. Searches were conducted in MEDLINE, Web of Science, Google Scholar, CINAHL, ASSIA, PsycInfo, and PubMed. Grey literature was located through organizational websites. Following screening and data extraction, literature was synthesized thematically.

Results: Fourteen articles were included. Findings exposed a complex web of alcohol marketing targeting SGMs on multiple fronts. Traditional advertising media was augmented by the opportunities digital marketing affords. Venue-based marketing on the commercial scene exploited the industry’s domination of community spaces, and the dearth of alcohol-free alternatives. Further, appropriation of SGM iconography, and sponsorship of SGM events, positioned the industry as an ally, forging public-facing personae of solidarity and acceptance.

Conclusion: Multifaceted marketing of alcohol saturates SGM communities, entrenching understandings of its ubiquity and importance. Further work is needed to describe and quantify the impact of these strategies on alcohol use within SGM communities.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages9
JournalDrugs: Education, Prevention and Policy
Early online date3 Oct 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 3 Oct 2023


  • Alcohol
  • lGBTQ+
  • marketing
  • public health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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