Alcohol and Advertising
Throughout the history of television, viewers have raised many questions about alcohol advertising. Does advertising influence alcohol consumption? Does it has an impact on alcohol abuse or alcohol related disease and death? How is advertising affecting us? The goal of this essay is to collect evidence, both theoretical and empirical, that would address the question of whether advertising affects in any measurable manner alcohol consumption and mortality from alcoholism and alcohol related disease. The alcohol and advertising industries argue that as alcoholic drink is a legal product it should be legally possible for it to be advertised, and that bans on alcohol advertising would have adverse effects on the alcohol market and on the media. They also argue that bans are not justified as advertising is concerned with promoting sales of individual brands and there is no evidence of a causal link between advertising and the overall level of alcohol consumption or the amount of alcohol related harm. The main arguments are that as well as promoting brands, advertising is also concerned with recruiting new drinkers and increasing sales among existing, and especially heavy consumers. (Fisher 22-24) Henry Saffer, a New York economist who focuses in alcohol research, assures that alcohol advertising is increasing traffic accidents and alcohol consumption. He declares, ¡§Until now, most of the studies done on the subject conclude that alcohol advertising doesn¡¦t affect drinking behavior. The alcohol industry uses these studies to bolster its argument that advertising only induces people to switch brands. These studies keep coming and find nothing because they set themselves up to find nothing.¡¨ (Abramson 1) Saffer research¡K¡K
Much of the debate concerns the possible effects on children and young people. The Advertising Codes prohibit the specific targeting of minors, but the ubiquity of alcohol advertising ensures that it can hardly...
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