advertising and other stuff. no, really.

Friday, May 21, 2010

World Health Organization calls for alcohol ad crackdown—Budweiser still laughing as we speak.

Noble cause but did you even watch Thank You For Smoking? Lobbies people. Lobbies. That’s the first hurdle. Second, What are we really getting at it here. A restriction of any kind still falls short of what should be the minimum: A total ban of all ads then. And even THAT ain’t gonna happen, not without legislation in place to enforce it and especially when the industry polices itself.

As for said industry combating the issue of responsible drinking, they at least agree more can be done. See. Above. However. Self-regulation hasn’t really worked out. I can remember back when Crown Royal was the first brand to come back to TV and break the voluntary ban that the industry had up until the 90s.

And now? Beyond saturated. (How’s that age verification thing going on websites.) The WHO has a point though:

“The more affordable alcohol is ... the more it is consumed,” its strategy said, calling for minimum prices on drinks and taxes and other pricing policies to reduce underage drinking and bingeing. “Consumers, including heavy drinkers and young people, are sensitive to changes in the price of drinks.”

Agree. An more ads of any product category make an impression. The response to that by the industry reveals the blinders they have on though:

But that reasoning was rejected by SABMiller, the brewer of Miller Lite, Pilsner Urquell and other beers. It warned that minimum prices and high taxes could hurt public health by leading people away from safe brands toward cheaper, homemade moonshines and brews.

(I can say bullshit here on the blog, right?) Okay, well, bullshit. Would a Heineken drinker or beer lover start drinking low-price swill with a modest price increase? They may grab a Coors Light because that’s what was cold in their friend’s fridge, but the idea that the inverse of low price drives consumption is that higher prices drive people underground? Hasn’t been born out in my experience.

Again, need to be talking about a total ban to make that happen. Higher prices will not prevent anything. *Higher* is not the same as an obscenely, ridiculously high price either. To get people drinking floor cleaner, beer would have to go to $100—a can. Why does government always think incrementally small will affect the change they want?

Take smokes even. Sky-high cigarette taxes and price increases haven’t sworn people off that vice, so is it safe to assume the booze industry is safe? *nods* Or gas. Prices could go back up to $5-6 again and we’d still drive. Less, just like a few summers go, but we’d still drive.

Prohibition drove people underground—not higher prices of legal alcohol. As for ads, well, we could do with a few less all round, no?

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