Alcohol and Advertising

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Alcohol and Television Advertising - No

Business Law 302

April 27, 1999

Dr. Coffinberger

Alcohol and Television Advertising

“Alcohol is not often thought of as a drug - largely because its use is common for both religious and social purposes in most parts of the world. It is a drug, however, and compulsive drinking in excess has become one of modern society’s most serious problems” (ARF). This is so true because many people don’t consider alcohol a drug but the effects it has on you are so serious that it should be. “The effects of drinking do not depend on the type of alcoholic beverage - but rather on the amount of alcohol consumed on a specific occasion” (ARF). To give you a background on alcohol, here is a quick refresher on how it works and the effects it has on your body. “Alcohol is rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream from the small intestine, and less rapidly from the stomach and colon. The drinker’s blood alcohol concentration depends on the amount consumed in a given time, the drinker’s size, sex, body build, and metabolism, and the type and amount of food in the stomach” (ARF). The effects of alcohol are very frightening to even consider. They depend on “the amount taken at one time, the user’s past drug experience, the manner in which the drug is taken and the circumstances under which the drug is taken” (ARF). At 50mg you experience mild intoxication which includes a “feeling of warmth, skin flushed; impaired judgment and decreased inhibitions” (ARF). From there you can go all the way down to 500mg which will more than likely cause death. It is an extremely scary thought to know that a substance that can cause death is freely advertised on television so that even our children can see it. In fact, they are the targets of some manufacturers marketing. In this paper we will show you both sides of whether alcohol companies should be allowed to advertise on television or not and then give you our conclusion.

No - Alcohol Advertising Should Not Be Allowed On Television
Alcohol companies should not be allowed to advertise on television. In today’s society, more and more children are spending all of their free time in front of a television. They don’t go outside and play anymore, they just come home from school and flip on Jerry Springer or a soap opera. Adults need to take the responsibility to protect children from undue influences as much as they can. Banning alcohol advertisements would be a simple way to help this process.

In a recent study done by the Center for Media Education (CME), they found that many alcohol companies actually target youth even though it is illegal for them to drink. Companies use such things as “cartoons, personalities, language, music, or branded merchandise popular in youth culture or which would be particularly attractive to college or high-school-aged students” (CME). This shows a blatant attempt on their part to recruit new consumers who are underage.

There have been previous attempts to stop alcohol companies from targeting youth such as the Voluntary Alcohol Advertising Standards for Children Act, but that is just the thing, it is voluntary. This is a try at making themselves look responsible but they still really aren’t. This Act pressures broadcasters to simply not run alcohol advertisements. It shouldn’t be the responsibility of the broadcasters to filter what goes on the air. Alcohol companies should not waste their money making these ads to begin with. Instead, they need to target a more mature audience who have the right to consume their products.

The beer and liquor companies claim they don’t target youth but how can that be when you see the “Budweiser frogs or the Coors’ “Tap the Rockies” campaigns or Seagram’s dogs and Hiram Walker’s Kahlua Mudslide” (Hacker). Many of these companies have, in the past, even advertised on the youth-oriented MTV. Anheuser-Busch just recently...
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