media darling

a personal record of how different forms of media and their content affect me (a college student)

advertising alcohol November 6, 2008

Filed under: advertisements — katie @ 11:41 am
Tags: , , , ,

What does the media tell us about alcohol? That it’s sexy and glamorous. That hot people drink it or drinking it makes one more attractive. That good things only come from drinking it. That there isn’t much responsibility that goes along with drinking it…etc.

I raise the question of whether it is ethically responsible to show alcohol ads on TV when people under 21 are obviously viewing them, and the ads are definitely having an influence on their attitudes about alcohol.

Many would argue that publishing racist, sexist or anti-Semitic ads would inflict harm on the public because of the hurt and influence they can have on people. Not publishing these ads is the ethical thing to do, but these ads with their potential harm are no different than many other ads that in circulation today. The alcohol and tobacco industries are incredibly lucrative businesses – definitely credited to the amount of advertising they do in print media and broadcast outlets, and I don’t anyone would argue that these products are not harmful.

Alcohol ads are constantly broadcast on television networks, and people under 21 are often exposed to behavior-influencing content through a countless number of ads. There have been many studies and content analyses examining whether exposure to alcohol ads increases young people’s tendencies to drink alcohol. In a study from 2004 titled Alcohol Advertising Exposure and Perceptions: Links with Alcohol Expectancies and Intentions to Drink or Drinking in Underaged Youth and Young Adults, researchers Kenneth Fleming, Esther Thorson, and Charles Atkin found the following results.

Alcohol advertising is influential in shaping young people’s attitudes and perceptions about alcohol advertising messages. The attitudes and perceptions predicted both positive expectancies and intentions to drink of those under the legal drinking age…Positive expectancies are powerful predictors of intentions to drink and consumption for both groups. The effects of alcohol advertising on intentions to drink of those aged 15 to 20 years are mediated by cognitive responses to advertising messages and positive expectancies. (Fleming, Thorson, Atkin)

Alcohol advertisements do not only influence young people to drink, but also have an effect on legal-drinking-aged people to want to drink (Fleming, Thorson, Atkin). Alcohol is abused in the United States far too much, and all the advertising supporting its consumption makes people drink, often without considering the dangerous side effects.

Drunk driving is still a prevalent issue, regardless of laws and the dangers, and alcohol-related deaths are high in numbers. With these facts in mind, should it be argued that all alcohol-related advertisements be pulled from the media? It is not plausible to prevent the publishing of alcohol advertisements, because although they debatably inflict harm on viewers, alcohol companies are protected by the First Amendment to advertise their product.

It should be kept in mind how much advertising can influence people’s behaviors and attitudes, and that sometimes they are nearly irresponsible.

Look how fun drinking is!

Look how fun drinking is!


4 Responses to “advertising alcohol”

  1. ricksrss Says:

    I’ll drink to that! Good post.

  2. Sheila Joyce Gibbs Says:

    Well, you’ve sure hit the nail on the head !!!
    But, what are we going to do about it ???

    For 9-10 months, many of us here in Canada alone, have been trying unsuccessfully (so far), to convince our Government Leaders, to pass legislation, ordering mandatory Health Warning Labels on all liquor containers.
    At present time, there are many Canadians who’ve been hit severely/permanently with alcohol caused illness’s. Many of which are: Grand Mal Seizures, Deafness, Blindness, Rotted Livers, Heart Attacks…..all with no cure’s.
    Quite a few of these individuals have never spoken of this to anyone, from shame or embarressment (?), who knows.
    But, somehow, we’ve got to warn our youth !
    Otherwise, what’s going to happen when all us old farts are in Nursing homes, being spoon fed & diapered, unable to hold down all the serious/much needed jobs, but expecting that our grown up teenagers, will be able to take over ?
    Could be one very ugly situation, if they’ve ruined their health by drinking, as many of us have already.

    • kayla reed Says:

      i know i saw that video they should do that those pics will gross you out so you wont smoke thats good for dumb people that don’t know what could happen call me (951)200-1848 im hot

  3. Interesting argument. Please contact me back if you’re willing to accept an article from the DUI Foundation.

    501(3)(c) non-profit.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s