Advertisements and commercials for booze have become so commonplace that you might not even notice them anymore.
The laughter-driven and now-infamous “Wassup” campaign.
The story-driven Most Interesting Man in the World commercials.
The Mila-Kunis-driven ads for Jim Beam.
Honestly, it’s hard to even remember what they’re advertising sometimes. But more often than not, the commercials stay in our mind. And, according to researchers, kids are no exception.
WTNH reported that a new study from health researchers across the globe, including some at our very own University of Connecticut, are recommending tighter restrictions on alcohol advertising to protect children. Thomas Babor, one of the UConn researchers, even went so far as to tell WTNH, “No other legal product with such potential for harm is as widely promoted and advertised in the world as alcohol.”
This is pretty hard to disagree with. Just take the Super Bowl, for example. When that game comes on in a couple weeks, more than 100 million Americans will be watching, including plenty of kids. The commercials may be diverse in message, but they’re all meant to be entertaining and many of them will be pushing beer or liquor.
So, in a country that specifically limits the advertising capabilities of tobacco companies because of their product’s proclivity for addiction, why do we treat alcohol any differently?
I don’t think there’s a good answer to this question. Despite alcohol’s social acceptance, as a substance it is just as capable of ruining a person as tobacco. So while I can definitely appreciate a good beer commercial with a funny punchline, we might all be a little safer, healthier, and better off if those commercials were cut back.