Trendy Alcohol Tag Lines May Be Trivializing Alcoholism

It is hard to escape the aisles at a department store, social media ads, or popular shopping items on Amazon without seeing cliché phrases promoting alcohol such as “rosé all day”, “wine me”, or “will run for wine”. Even “wine and paint” night and “sip and see” events are advertisements that promote gathering with friends and family in the presence of alcohol. With these popular catchphrases, no wonder t-shirts and other merchandise are flying off the shelf. Social media marketing and alcohol brands have been partnering for years and the engagement has been increasing in astronomical amounts. In January 2011, Bacardi announced it would shift up to 90% of its digital spend to Facebook as it no longer deems dotcom sites relevant. By September 2011, alcohol brands had the third-highest consumer ‘engagement rate’ on Facebook after automobiles and retail. We are swayed by what we see and post on social media in more ways than we realize. In fact, a showed that individuals were more likely to select a bar than a coffee shop gift card upon exposure to beer versus water ads, which was moderated by brand familiarity and risky alcohol use, proving that alcohol ads on social media play a large influence in whether or not an individual is going to consume alcohol. For individuals who are in rehab or in recovery, avoiding these advertisements are nearly impossible and therefore they must have strong coping skills and a positive support system.

Can you avoid social media advertisements if you are in recovery?

The answer is probably not, but you can limit them. For example, you have control to limit posts you do not want to see on most of your social media channels. You can also set the parental controls, meaning you will not be exposed to anything that is inappropriate for children. You also have the choice, which accounts to follow or friends to view on social media. So although you may not be able to erase every single alcohol ad, you can limit what comes across your social media feed.

Alcohol advertising influence among underage drinkers

Alcohol ads typically associate a brand with cool, sexy people and a fun activity. The various elements in alcohol ads are specifically chosen to communicate ideas llike this product is for people like me; this alcohol product makes occasions better; this product is popular, or stylish, or creative, and people want to be seen drinking this product. Ultimately, these concepts come together to suggest: if I use this product, I can be cool, sexy, and successful like the people in the ad, having fun like they seem to be. This a form of peer pressure, which can easily draw teenagers into engaging in underage drinking.

Raising awareness

April is National Alcohol Awareness Month, sponsored by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD), which works to raise awareness about the treatment and prevention of alcoholism, especially among today’s youth. This year’s theme is “Connecting the Dots: Opportunities for Recovery”, and local, state and national events are held all month long to help educate society on alcohol abuse and how to seek treatment. According to statistics, alcohol is the most commonly used addictive substance in the United States: 17.6 million people, or one in every 12 adults are diagnosed with an alcohol abuse disorder and millions of more individuals engage in risky behaviors such as binge drinking that can potentially lead to alcohol abuse disorder.

Alcohol affects almost every organ in the body from the brain to the feet, and although most people are aware that alcohol can make many altering effects on the liver, there are many organ systems also negatively affected by alcohol.