The Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth (CAMY) at Georgetown University recently reported that our youth are exposed more to advertisements encouraging them to drink alcohol, rather than the “drink responsibility” ads.
The message of “drink responsibly” is not being communicated responsibly.
Studies from Brigham University indicate that teens tend to overlook industry sponsored responsibility ads. In other words they are seen but not necessarily effective.
Yet other studies show that teenage drinking increases when they are watching TV commercials. These TV commercials obviously communicate at a level that is real to teenagers so they respond to the message “Drink and be merry” by tipping the bottle.
No one in these ads looks the least bit compromised by the alcohol – in fact it appears alcohol makes them gorgeous and confident. No one is stumbling about.
There is not enough communication to counter the impression that alcohol is glamorous.
Responsible drinking messages CAN work, by doing what the alcohol industry does – Create messages that teens can relate to – but send the RIGHT message. Life can be great sober.
However, it makes no sense to leave the job of discouraging youth from drinking to the alcohol companies, who are driven by the bottom line, not compassion.
Messages concerning the responsibilities of life come from parents and educators, not television.
Gordy Weinand, the Director of Community Relations at Narconon drug rehab “Tell your kids not to drink or do drugs. Don’t wait for them to see a TV ad. If you don’t know exactly what to say, then request educational materials from Narconon. Drug and alcohol prevention is far more economical in the long run than treatment. We don’t need to stand by while young alcoholics are being created. There are effective preventive measures.