The Effect Of Alcohol Advertising On Children

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The Effect Of Alcohol Advertising On Children Essay, Research Paper In this essay I analyze the effects of alcohol presence in the media. For years, the population has been exposed to different forms of media. Newspapers, magazines, television, films, radio, and more recently the Internet are ways of promoting ideas, spreading news, and advertising products. Alcoholism has always been a detriment to our society, especially in the hands of our youth. Many factors cause children to participate in the consumption of alcohol – alcoholic parents, peer pressure, and the media are major determining factors. The most influential factor, however, is the media, which is generally unregulated and uncensored. Whether intentional or not, there has always been an existence of alcohol in

all forms of the media. I examine how alcohol-brewing companies intentionally target youth in their advertising campaigns. I also analyze other forms of media such as film and the Internet to find examples of the use and display of alcohol, and how it affects, and is targeted towards youth. There have been a number of campaigns to combat the undiscriminating advertising of alcohol to young people during the course of the last two decades. Recently, President Clinton and the Food and Drug Administration of the United States have rightfully attacked alcohol company abuses in advertising, with the support of the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), and the American Medical Association. (Hacker, George A. (May 16, 1996). Press Conference on Alcohol Advertising Reforms.)

According to Commissioner Kessler of the Food and Drug Administration, addiction to nicotine is a “pediatric disease.” If that’s true for smoking, which kills users much later in life, then youthful alcohol consumption can only be labeled a “pediatric disaster.” His studies also show that the earlier children begin to drink the more likely they are to become heavy drinkers, use illicit drugs and suffer problems related to their alcohol and drug use. At a press conference on alcohol advertising reforms, George A. Hacker, Director of the Alcohol Policies Project reported results of a survey conducted in the United States to determine evidence on the use of alcohol by youths. Some of his findings are as follows: + The median age at which children begin drinking alcohol is

just over 13 years. 67 percent of students in the 8th grade have tried an alcoholic beverage. + Alcohol is the leading cause of death for young people, ages 15 to 24. They die in alcohol-related car crashes, drownings, fires, homicides, and suicides. + Fifty-two percent of 12th-graders report having been drunk within the year. Among 8th- and 10th-graders, the reported drunkenness during the year was 18 percent and 39 percent, respectively. These findings can only beg the question — Does the presence of alcohol in media influence young people to drink? And do alcohol companies target youth in their advertising? Whether the media of communication is advertising, television, the Internet or movies, many studies have been conducted to determine an answer to this controversial

issue. It is in my belief, after studying the topic, the presence of alcoholic beverages in different forms of mass media can heavily influence young teens and adolescents to drink. It can also be said that in many cases, alcohol producers try to influence children in many of their advertisements. A look at some of the practices of the world’s largest brewer, Anheuser-Busch (Budweiser), shows that the company is involved in attracting underage consumers to its brands. Budweiser beer uses an assortment of cute animals to promote its products, including frogs, ants, penguins, dogs, chimpanzees and horses — many of them animated, and clearly attractive to young children. A growing body of evidence shows that these ads attract, entertain, and teach young people about beer. The