Effect of Alcohol Advertisements on our Youth
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That feeling of wanting and need is prominent in all of us. It could be the love from your family or friends, or just being around that “in crowd”. Certain things make us feel that knowledge of being accepted. A movie will sometimes make us search for that one true love or influence us to get those new trendy jeans. We want to look a certain way and have that style our society idolizes; we crave it and strive for it. Advertising bombards us with images that coax us into a conformist viewing style. Targeting a certain age group is a key tactic when selling your product, especially when it comes to alcohol. These companies target the younger crowd, which means the underaged are influenced as well. A group that is always striving for that desire in our society to be accepted and these advertisements show them that this is possible with the good times that come of being intoxicated. This is why our government should put stricker laws prohibiting this kind of advertisment out there for our society.
Research has shown that between the ages of twelve and fourteen in Canada almost half a million children have drunk more then five beers at one sitting. These children see these advertisements on television and perceive them as promoting macho-masculinity, sociability, and working-class values. Although peer support and increasing age come into factor, research has shown that the greatest increase of under age drinking is influenced by advertisement. That smooth cold taste and that beautiful woman at your side are these ad companies’ advocates, telling the youth of today that this is how they should act.
These are the values our underaged community is being taught, using products that are appealing to this age group. “Alcopops” are beverages with low alcohol contents such as Mike’s hard lemonade and Bacardi breezers, the kind of products that are appealing to this age group. These curious young minds know this as a risk, but see it as one that everyone must go through at a young age. At an age where children are getting more responsibility, such as being able to stay home alone and most important driving, is a time where we should not be corrupting our children with such advertisments. When maturity, alcohol and driving are all combined at a young age the effects are can be devistating.
Driving under the influence costs millions of lives a year throughout Canada and is considered the leading cause of death for young people ages 14-18. In Canada alone, almost fourty-seven percent of teens from the ages of 14-18 say they have driven in a vehicle with a driver under the influence. In 1999 young drivers that were involved in a fatal crash twenty-one percent had been tested positive with one hundred milligrams of alcohol to one hundred milligrams of blood in their system. Your reaction time, vision, and concentration are serverly hampered with, this especially effects inexperienced drivers.
Alcohol advertisement glamorises their product and is a huge recruiter for young drinkers. As a society we should take action and limit these ads that are polluting our youth, these ads play a huge part in the accidents related to alcohol which can easily be stopped. Ultimately paraliment must make a stand so that our youth will be safer in the future.