Within the last month or two, I have noticed advertisements for hard liquor. So far I have seen ads for brands like Jameson, Jim Beam and Johnnie Walker which join ads that were around already — like for Disaronno Amaretto.
Is this a problem? I am of two minds. I clearly always want to promote responsible drinking. But for me, the thing about responsible drinking is that it goes without saying because I could never drink enough Scotch to get drunk. I simply couldn’t do that economically speaking. In short: It would be too expensive! I don’t have any $200 or higher bottles, but that doesn’t mean that I would want to waste the precious liquid on getting drunk. I drink *one* dram and I savor it, because there is so much to enjoy. The alcohol is, for me, beside the point. It is not about getting drunk; not even peripherally.
So I get confused when teetotalers urge me to not drink alcoholic beverages. Why should they care what I drink when I have no intention (or possibility) of getting drunk. Have you seen me? I’m no lightweight! 🙂
Ok. Enough ranting. The point is the following: I have no problem with any legal product being advertised on the public airwaves. Why is it ok to have beer advertising on TV, but to exclude Johnnie Walker and friends seems arbitrary.
Should it be ok to advertise hard liquor on TV? Sure. Why not? I think that drinking to excess is the issue, not advertising.
When I was in college, I could find any number of ways to drink to excess. Price is what causes drunkenness. If alcohol is too cheap, then people will drink it to excess. Advertising can have (in my opinion), at best a minimal impact on consumer behavior. Peer pressure is WAY stronger! Paradoxically, as price goes up, the drinker’s habits change. The experience transitions from getting drunk to sensory enjoyment (olfactory and gustatory). At least, it did for me. 🙂
What do you think? Whether or not alcohol should be legal has been hotly debated before, during and after Prohibition.