Various facets of a society, be it the youth, mature adults, or even children are constantly exposed to complex and often conflicting messages about alcohol usage (Gorg 546). Alcohol advertising indirectly causes many societal problems that need to be dealt with. However, one can identify three major issues that need to be addressed, namely the over-consumption of alcohol, underage drinking, and the perception of a negative body image.
Some experts link excessive alcohol consumption with an increased exposure of the population to advertisements for alcohol. Alcohol advertisements broadcasted on television—especially on sports channels—have been identified as being the most effective. They make the largest contribution to the rate of growth of alcohol consumption compared to any other type of publicity, such as magazine and billboard advertisements (Longman 56). Over-consumption of strong spirits, such as whiskey, vodka, and gin can readily lead to a crippling dependence on alcohol, debilitating illnesses, and even premature death. Further social consequences that need to be factored in include divorce, domestic violence, and bankruptcy.
Another issue unequivocally associated with alcohol advertising is the relentless rise in underage drinking. In the USA, as well as in many other countries, a person is only legally permitted to consume strong alcoholic drinks when they are 21 years old. However, according to scientific research, many young people begin to consume alcohol at a much younger age (Reese 456). This phenomenon, encouraged by judicious advertising, is supported, for example, by a specific college culture that promotes binge drinking and wild parties (Reese 454). In some countries of Eastern Europe, it has been reported that young people use or even abuse alcohol well before they enter college.
The stereotypical and racy sexual imagery projected by advertisements that actively promote alcohol consumption raise significant moral and ethical issues. One of the primary target audiences of alcohol advertisements is the single, young man. Advertisements aimed at this category often include “controversial content” such as scantily-clad women (Gorg 195). Not only young men, but also young women watch these advertisements. Women tend to compare themselves to the models featured in the commercials. The impossibly perfect, photoshopped models in advertisements often lead “a normal young woman” to perceive her own body image to be somehow inadequate (Gorg 237). In the real world, this is simply not the case; there are all sorts of shapes and bodily sizes of attractive women. Sadly, a psychological disease termed dysmorphophobia, a dysmorphic syndrome or a body dysmorphic disorder has been classified. It is characterized by a hostility towards one’s own body and by the owner perceiving their body to be defective in some way or even ugly.
Companies that produce alcohol, as well as advertising agencies, are generally more concerned with promoting a certain brand than with the ethical consequences of their actions (Longman 24). Besides, alcohol companies argue that they have a right to advertise in the most effective way possible in order to generate sales (Reese 353). However, negative effects of alcohol advertising are worth considering, as they cause social and personal problems, such as alcohol over-consumption, underage drinking, and negative body image.
Longman, Curtis. Alcohol and Its Ruckus. Los Angeles: Desert Flower Press, 2011. Print.
Reese, Michele. The Curse of Alcohol and Advertising. New York: Penguin Publishing, 2008. Print.
Gorg, Anna. Advertising at Its Most Sinful. New York: Random House, 2012. Print.
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Alcoholism Can Affect A Person Financially, Physically, And Psychologically
Sometimes it is easily forgotten that Alcohol is an addictive substance. The odd glass of wine with a meal, a beer after work is socially acceptable. There are government guidelines that indicate the maximum alcoholic units per week that are safe to consume .However problems occur when drinking to excess or drinking as a solitary activity and eventually the person finds that they cannot get to sleep at night without a drink or even a bottle of wine or vodka or they cannot face the day without having a few glasses of wine, spirits or beer before they leave the house. Alcohol is very addictive and some people can monitor their consumptions but others find it very difficult, which can result in the need for alcohol to take over their lives.
If alcohol becomes a major part of someone’s life there are obviously going to be some effects on that person’s life in particular the financial cost, a cost to physical health and the psychological impact including relationships
The implication on finances can be two fold. Firstly, is the actual cost of the alcohol can be crippling. The odd glass of bottle of wine can be realistically absorbed into an average budget, but if the amount is for example 2-3 bottles a day (and this can be wine, beer or spirits) this can soon eat into earnings.
Apart from the obvious cost, there is the physical cost. Physically, if someone is drinking to excess on a regular basis they get a hangover on a regular basis, this can a lack of pride in appearance, a lack of concentration, chronic dehydration; liver disease and various other illnesses. The hangovers, appearance and lack of concentration can seriously affect the ability to work which will ultimately result in lack of money Sometimes people drink more alcohol more than they should because they feel that it helps their mood, but in reality it can mean that you need to drink more and more each time to get a good mood feeling, In fact the coupled with the financial problems, alcohol can make you feel ore anxious and depressed, which can lead to a downward spiral that affects relationships by putting enormous stress on those closest.
It is important to realize that in reality there is what is known as an addictive personality and sometimes the addict through no fault of their own has little control over their addiction. There is help through AA or through their Doctor, but without the appropriate support a person with an addictive behavior may just replace on addictive behavior with another.