Advertising and Marketing
The 8th criterion was the next to be met by a significant part of advertisements. This criterion referred to the usage of hard alcohol with soda and representing them as soda. Absolute Vodka advertisement is a sample of such type of advertisement. Its brand ‘Absolute Vanilla’ was represented so as not to let the audience understand that an alcohol beverage is meant: ‘Absolute Float. Skip the scoop. Absolute Vanilla + Chilled Cola + Crushed Ice. ’ The next frequently met criterion was involving of popular singers or bands, criterion 5.
It is not a secret that popular singers become a role model to their fans, especially teens. Inviting these popular persons to participate in advertising of alcoholic beverages automatically attracts their fans to this advertisement. The same refers to the next frequently met criterion, which relates to the persons, who often appear in movies or TV shows. Such actors as Jesse James, starring in a popular Monster Garage show, may attract teen audience to the advertisement of alcoholic beverages when he advertises such product. (Stubblefield, B., Singh, N. ,2004)
The next criterion, which was also found in the observed material, referred to parties including teens without supervision of their parents. Keystone Light advertisement, for instance, showed beer hidden in a planter, which suggested how teens may have a night party without asking adults’ permission. Criterion 9 was also found in a significant part of advertisements observed. For example, Molson Beer used scantron testing in their advertisement, which directly refers to the high-school or university activities.
At last, criteria 6 and 4 were the least frequently found in the observed material, though there were advertisements that met these criteria. (Stubblefield, B. , Singh, N. ,2004) The result of this research make evident that a lot of alcoholic beverages ads include content which may apply to the underage drinkers. This tendency is inherent to the international market of alcoholic beverages and cannot be referred to any particular state only, and this tendency is being criticized on an international level. Industry views on the problem
On the other side, the owners of alcoholic beverages companies express a great concern in view of growing number of lawsuits against many famous names of alcoholic beverages industry. International Center for Alcohol Policies prepared a special report, including study results, statistical data and arguments in favor of alcoholic beverages companies. As the companies state, they spend billions of dollars to invite parents to address their children with talks about danger of underage drinking and to provide special training for retailers in order to teach them to recognize underage consumers.
For instance, Miller company spokesman says: “Lawsuits like this obfuscate the real underlying issues”. He states that teens obtain alcohol often with their parents or older friends, when teens use their ID’s to purchase alcohol. (Industry Views on Beverages Alcohol Advertising and Marketing) The companies that produce alcoholic beverages find the studies of the problem inconclusive, so they are ready to speak with their own researches in their defense.
The most remarkable arguments of these companies are supported by statistics, historical retrospective and marketing research. For instance, marketing research shows that alcoholic beverages consumption has not increased during last fifty years in the USA, although the amount of advertising has considerably grown. In some countries, like the UK, Germany or the Netherlands alcohol consumption level declined, while spends for advertising grew. (Industry Views on Beverages Alcohol Advertising and Marketing)
A special attention is paid to the influence of alcoholic beverages advertising on young audience. The most powerful force influencing the youth, as seen by the companies producing alcoholic beverages, should be parents and family. Media and advertising play a small role, they state. European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs (ESPAD) Report introduces the results received in various countries. According to these results, young people intoxication is still high in those countries that ban alcoholic beverages advertisements.
However, International Center for Alcohol Policies speakers believe that alcohol advertising needs a careful regulation, as alcoholic beverages refer to the products that may cause abuse in case they are improperly used. Thus, alcohol companies demonstrate their efforts in resolving the problem of underage drinking. Conclusion The problem of underage drinking is getting more and more serious each year. Of course, alcoholic beverages companies cannot be fully responsible for this tendency; however, they should pay a lot more attention to their marketing policy.
This problem needs a complex approach, including the efforts of health and social organizations, parents, schools, high schools, and, of course, changing the marketing tactics in this sphere. Those companies that advertise alcoholic beverages should carefully revise their promotional material to exclude any kind of content that may appeal to the underage audience. Besides, the institutions, responsible for the control of this sphere, should put more strict demands as for advertising content. These services should add more definite instructions and provide more severe punishment for violating them.
The only effective way to reduce the number of underage consumers of alcohol beverages is to unite the efforts of the state, government, society and parents, and the forces of alcoholic beverages companies should make a significant part of the arrangements made.
Baldor, L. C. ,(2003) Commercials, higher taxes targeted in teen drinking troubles, The Associated Press State & Local Wire. Industry Views on Beverages Alcohol Advertising and Marketing, with Special Reference to Young People (Prepared for the World Health Organization by the International Center for Alcohol Policies on behalf of its sponsors), 2004, retrieved November, 18 http://spirits.eu/