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Rahul Argha Sen

RahulPhD Candidate

Title of Research: Applying formative research to inform the development of evidence-based and theory-driven alcohol counter-marketing campaigns

Qualifications: Bachelor of Commerce (Marketing, India), Master of Commerce (Marketing, India)

Start of PhD: March 2015

Email: rahul.sen@postgrad.otago.ac.nz

Supervisors: Dr Kirsten Robertson and Dr Leah Watkins

Research Summary: Alcohol consumption is responsible for a large global burden of disease, injury, and economic cost. Alcohol marketing related aspects are likely important contributors to this burden. Throughout the world, there exists extensive alcohol marketing efforts that promote alcohol as an ordinary product for daily use, which in turn, has been associated with the initiation of drinking, and subsequent engagement in hazardous drinking. However, there is a lack of effective alcohol counter-marketing campaigns (mass media anti-alcohol campaigns and alcohol warning labels) to balance the negative effects of alcohol marketing. The current alcohol counter-marketing campaigns have increased consumer awareness and knowledge of the health risks, but have not changed drinking behaviour. A review of the literature surrounding alcohol counter-marketing campaigns reveals that there is a lack of well-established theoretical foundation to inform and guide the development of the message content of alcohol counter-marketing campaigns. The research gaps specifically centre around the need for formative research. To address the gaps in knowledge, the thesis: (a) utilises social marketing concepts, and (b) uses the Extended Parallel Process Model and Construal Level Theory as theoretical frameworks. Overall, the present research attempts to inform the development of effective targeted alcohol counter-marketing campaigns aimed at reducing alcohol use and the associated harms.

Research Interests: Consumer behaviour, health communication, and social marketing.

Publications:

Sen, R. A., Robertson, K., & Watkins, L. (2015). Social norms and alcohol consumption: Communicating an alternative to excessive consumption. In A. Ganglmair-Wooliscroft, J. Williams, & B. Wooliscroft (Eds.), Proceedings of the Australian & New Zealand Marketing Academy (ANZMAC) Midyear Doctoral Colloquium (pp. 32-39). Dunedin, New Zealand: Marketing Department, University of Otago. Retrieved from: http://www.otago.ac.nz/marketing/otago118015.pdf#page=38


Sen, R. A., Robertson, K., & Watkins, L. (2016). Examining gender-specific differences in demographic characteristics, psychographic characteristics, and drinking behaviours between drinker subgroups. In D. Fortin & L. K. Ozanne (Eds.), Proceedings of the Australian & New Zealand Marketing Academy (ANZMAC) Conference (pp. 182). Christchurch, New Zealand: University of Canterbury. Retrieved from: http://www.mang.canterbury.ac.nz/ANZMAC/ANZMAC%20proceedings%202016.pdf


Sen, R. A., Robertson, K., & Watkins, L. (forthcoming). Towards more effective alcohol warning labels: Identifying specific warnings for each beverage type. Proceedings of the Academy of Marketing Conference 2017. Hull, UK: University of Hull.


Sen, R. A., Robertson, K., & Watkins, L. (forthcoming). Encouraging the consumption of lower alcohol beverages as an alternative to excessive alcohol consumption. Proceedings of the Academy of Marketing Conference 2017. Hull, UK: University of Hull.