Alcohol Responsibility Ads / Messages on TV

Auto manufacturers  produce vehicles in which tens of thousands of people are killed each year.  But they don’t  run ads encouraging people to buckle their seatbelts or not to speed. Yet no one complains.

Restaurants sell meals that are partially responsible for obesity in millions of people.  But they don’t run ads warning people against eating too much.  Yet no one complains.

Brewers, vintners and distillers sell alcoholic beverages, the abuse of which can  cause serious  harms. Their products are also perfectly legal and they have no obligation to warn people not to abuse them. But they do  so widely in responsibility ads of TV,  in print, and on radio and they fund a diversity of alcohol abuse prevention programs.  Now the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth (CAMY), an alcohol  industry “watchdog, ”  has launched an attack, claiming that marketers don’t spend enough money on TV responsibility messages.

CAMY focused only on television responsibility messages paid for by individual marketers.  It also ignored industry-funded campaigns, print messages, radio messages, abuse prevention programs, and other efforts to reduce alcohol abuse.

An official at the American Association of Advertising Agencies emphasized that the  advertisers’ responsibility messages  are part of a larger effort that goes far beyond TV spots. “These ads, when combined with messages from parents, schools, churches, coaches, and peers, reinforces the notion that responsible consumption is everybody’s business.”

Another official pointed out that the CAMY report was “extremely inadequate and distorted.”  He noted that “it ignores the multimillions of dollars being spent on these issues by The Ad Council and the Century Council, which are major public service campaigns that impact these issues.”

He said that “CAMY acts if advertising is the only or primary method of responding to these challenges” but that “the alcohol beverage community has numerous programs beyond advertising directed to these questions and that go far beyond advertising. They have dedicated substantial funding to these community based programs.”

The official explained that “when you look at the total picture rather than the limited and skewed snapshot that CAMY has produced, there is far more positive effort being put forward than you would ever guess from CAMY’s slanted analysis.”

The activist organization has written that it seeks to create "public outrage" against alcohol advertising. It would appear that this misleading report is part of that agenda.


Filed Under: Advertising