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How Effective Is Advertising?

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How effective is advertising?

"I love quarter backs eatin' dirt, pom-poms and short skirts, fans that won't quit, and those twins"("Twins", 2003)! We all remember the popular Coors light commercial aired during football season featuring lustful blonde twins. Market campaigning specializes in whom they want their ads to reach. The Coors commercial for example was obviously directed to the football fans that like busty blondes-men. Beer and wine commercials have been being produced in numerous amounts for decades, but what about hard liquors? When the first commercial for distilled liquor was aired, several questions were raised (Worsnor 1). All these questions are still being asked. Many people are against alcohol advertising and have different beliefs on the effect it has on our society. Through clear research and various debates, Richard Worsnop provides an effective article stating that hard liquor should not be treated any differently than beer and that commercializing it is merely the company's right to advertise and nothing else.

Possibly the largest question asked about advertising is, what effect does it have on kids. Like the Coors light twins commercial, many alcohol ads are shown during sporting events. Consumer and Public Health groups note that these events are "popular with high school and college students" and assume they are directed to them specifically. McGovern, an alcohol industry critic believes that underage drinkers are usually first pushed by their peers but then states that "advertising reinforces" (3). Worsnop then successfully gives reasons why these accusations are false. His first and biggest rebuttal is that since the commercials started showing, there has been no effect on consumption patterns (3). Another good point that is made is that there are underage drinkers in America, but there have been since before alcohol commercials were even thought of (4). Minors already know what is out there and seeing it on TV isn't going to make them more of an underage drinker. "Awareness of an ad does not cause drinking anymore than ignorance causes abstinence"(3).

The next big question involves whether or not beer, wine, and liquor are the same product and can fall under the same category. Hacker claims that liquor is more dangerous to underage drinkers because of the situations in which it is consumed. He believes that these ads will persuade them to liquor as opposed to beer and will "increase the level and the severity of alcohol-related problems". Worsnop opposes this view with a quote from McGovern who feels it is "a mistaken view that hard liquor is more dangerous than beer and wine". He continues on to state that alcoholism is not just being produced by hard liquors but also by beer and wine at the same level and that the latter two have been involved in just as many car accidents and cases of addiction (4). This common misperception has given liquor the appearance of being harder or worse than beer or wine which may be the cause of minors misuse



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