Three Problems that Arise from Alcohol Advertising
Alcohol is one of the most consumed drugs and among the products that are heavily advertised in the United States and other countries. The alcohol industry generates exceptional annual revenues of more than $65 billion and more than $1 billion is spent on promotion. The issue of alcohol advertising has been at the centre of many debates in different countries, as authorities try to deliberate on whether alcohol advertisement should be banned due to the negative effects it has on the community, such as encouraging casual consumption (U.S. department of health and human services, 1990). However, the alcohol producing companies and advertisers claim that alcohol is legal as a business product, and there is no evidence to link casual drinking with advertising. Despite the alcohol companies’ justifications, there are problems associated with alcohol promotion, and this paper will analyze three significant problems that arise from alcohol advertising.
To start with, alcohol advertising is believed to be the leading cause in the rise of alcohol consumption rates, which results in poor health status and even death of individuals already in the drinking habit. The advertisements are created in a manner aimed at persuading people to believing that consumption would make one more than human. According to the seventh special report to the U.S. congress on alcohol and health (1990), advertising to the drinkers means more dosage of alcohol, which translates to health complications, such as lack of appetite, sexual diffusion and reduced immunity. Prolonged high alcohol dosage leads to addiction and can result to death.
Advertising of alcohol may stimulate the curiosity of non- drinkers, and although there are warnings provided on the advertisement, the allure of alcohol as portrayed on the advertisements is stronger than the implications. Advertisements create awareness to alcohol, which causes a rise in alcohol interest among people, and the urge to experiment different brands of alcohol. According to Archives of Paediatrics and Adolescent Medicine (2006), alcohol advertising is rated as a major cause in the increase in the rate of youth alcohol consumption. Young people tend to consume more alcohol as a result of alcohol exposure that is derived from the adverts (Ellickson et al. 2005).
Alcohol advertisement tends to add a sensational glamour to the products. With time, the adverts become normal to the viewers, and this may provoke a response from the viewers. The adverts are meant to create an interest to viewers, with an objective of increasing the level of alcohol consumption. Alcohol consumption rates are linked to mortality and morbidity rates (Burke MG. 2006). The adverts demystify alcohol by displaying consumers in ordinary setting, and this may serve to glorify alcohol so long as the consumers drink responsibly.
In conclusion, Media is a powerful promotion tool that impacts many people. As a result, alcohol industry has been a significant source of revenue to companies and individuals. However, the drug has been a source on many evils such as broken marriages, crime and even death. This has led to debates on whether to prohibit the promotion of alcohol, and such debates are met with resistance from the companies and advertiser as they see them as a way or reducing their income. Alcohol advertising and consumption has led to an alarming rate of increase in morbidity and mortality rates worldwide. It is the responsibility of governments and community to seek a regulation on alcohol consumption, to reduce the negative effect.
Burke, M.G. (2006). As alcohol advertising increases, so does youthful drinking. Contemporary Pediatrics.
Ellickson, P.L., Collins, R.L., Hambarsoomians, K., McCaffrey, D.F. (2005). Does alcohol advertising promote adolescent drinking? Results from a longitudinal assessment. Addiction.
JAMA Archives Journal. (Jan 2006). Archives of Paediatrics and Adolescent Medicine.
U.S. department of health and human services. (1990). Seventh Special Report to the U.S. Congress on Alcohol and Health. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Rockville, Md. p. 53.