This month the Drug-Free Coalition of Tippecanoe County is kicking off our Alcohol Advertising Awareness Campaign. December is the perfect time of year to kick off this campaign because the holiday season is a time when alcohol ads increase. Alcohol advertising can take on many forms:
- in-store beer and alcohol displays
- use in movies
- alcohol promotional items
- television ads
- magazine ads
- internet ads
In December the alcohol industry co-opts Christmas in a variety of ways. Co-opting is a practice of the alcohol industry where communities and cultural/holidays celebrations are targeted in hopes of making a larger profit. The alcohol industry knows that if they can equate holidays or celebrations with drinking alcohol, then they can sell more of their products.
In this series titled, "Hands off our Holidays", we will be educating you about the advertising and marketing practices of the alcohol industry. We will also give you tools to use in the community to help us combat this problem.
A prominent example of the practice of co-opting cultural celebrations is most obviously found in holidays such as, Cinco De Mayo and St. Patrick's Day. However, we often notice that alcohol messages and products can be and are often geared toward all holidays. Alcohol companies spend millions of dollars linking holidays and alcoholic beverages. As they do this, they convey a message to the public that says: "The way we celebrate is to drink."
This subject is even more concerning when we think about the impact alcohol advertising has on our youth. Since alcohol is the leading drug of choice among youth today, with nearly 8,000 kids drinking alcohol for the first time each day, the fact that their world is polluted with alcohol advertising is frightening. Whether intentional or not, current beer and distilled spirit companies over advertise to our youth. Research has shown that kids who are frequently exposed to alcohol advertising are twice as likely to initiate drinking than children with low exposure to such marketing. It is for this reason that we are hoping to make a difference in Tippecanoe County and the State of Indiana with regard to alcohol advertising. Raising awareness is the first step to changing the environment. Throughout the year we will bring your attention to co-opting habits of the alcohol industry through blog posts. We may also ask that you take action on a specific items.
It is the hope of the Drug-Free Coalition of Tippecanoe County that members of our community will find meaning in this campaign and will continue to provide help and support as we work to minimize the alcohol advertising that occurs in our community.