Liquor Ads

According to Antonia Novello, Surgeon General of the United States, in SIRS Government Reporter, the principle cause of death for those between the ages of 15 and 24 are alcohol related car crashes (1). Doesn’t it make sense that we should concentrate our efforts into reducing this problem of alcohol abuse? Apparently DISCUS, the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, doesn’t think so. Worsnop says that on November 7, 1996, they removed their voluntary ban of hard liquor ads on television and radio that had been in affect since 1936 (219). He then states that the removal came right after Seagram, a liquor company, advertised for some of their hard liquor on KRIS-TV in CorpusChrist, Texas (219). This movement is definitely a step in the wrong direction and action should be taken to reinstate this ban, but this time legally. First of all, the removal of the ban gave DISCUS a bad reputation. Already the four major TV networks (NBC, ABC, CBS, and FOX) have vowed not to air ads for hard liquor (Worsnop 219). DISCUS has also lost respect in the field of politics, especially with numerous congressmen and the President, himself. Worsnop said “Beer group representatives think DISCUS’ announcement undercut its credibility in Washington” (219). Bill Clinton referred to the decision as “simply irresponsible” (qtd in Worsnop 219).

Secondly, many of these advertisements for liquor have been said to target teens. However, Seagram’s executive vice president of marketing strategy, Arthur Shapiro, said that Seagram had taken “great pains that our advertising doesn’t
appeal to or aim at children” (qtd in Krantz 1). This is not so, according to Katherine Prescott, who pointed out the use of animals and a graduation theme in Seagram’s commercial. This seems to associate the use of alcohol with academic success when the two rarely coexist (Tannert 2). Clinton also expressed his concern that the ban may cause increased drinking among minors (Fac…

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