Drink, Drunk, Drugged
Many people in our society don’t recognise alcohol as a drug, but it is actually one of the most commonly used and abused drugs throughout the world. Even though drinking alcohol is legal after a certain age it does not mean that constant drinking is safe or healthy. It is important that people recognize the dangers of alcohol abuse.
We’ve all seen alcohol risk marketing on television and heard it on the radio. How many slogans can you remember?
The first one that comes to my mind is “Rethink Drink”. It was targeted at young adults and up to early 30s year olds. And this is the one thing that always interested me.
In my opinion, these marketing campaigns are generally targeted at young people. Examples like Drink-Drink-Drunk and projects through the Tertiary Alcohol Project (TAP) are targeted at university students.
It appears there is a limited effort placed on existing drinkers. This is in direct opposition to efforts placed on existing smokers or drug-users. Even Healthway state that one of their key aims in regards to alcohol is “Helping young people avoid high-risk alcohol consumption”, as opposed to any other market.
It is hardly fair to assume that without targeting a market, or make that market care, that we can make a change. When someone is young, it is true that their future actions are being cemented – but maybe there are other things influencing their decision-making.
I wonder whether the social perception of alcohol consumption is what’s holding back the effectiveness of alcohol marketing and the reason that the marketing is targeted in the manner it is. Alcohol is accepted across our society almost universally, in religion, sports, the performing arts and so on. We all accept that people we know are highly likely to have had alcohol at some point in their lives.
“Alcohol is the anaesthesia by which we endure the operation of life” – George Bernard Shaw
Marketing for alcohol safety is going to continue to be difficult whilst society still maintatins the optimistic view of alcohol that it does.
Do you find that society’s perceptions of alcohol effects whether you drink or not in a given circumstance?
More information – http://www.dao.health.wa.gov.au/
Article: Meier, P. 2011. Alcohol marketing research: the need for a new agenda. Addiction, 106, 466-471