Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Barney Rubble at the Rub-a-Dub
According to Sky News, the British Medical Association wants UK media regulators to impose a total ban on alcohol advertising, including at sports events, as well as put an end to promotions like Happy Hour.
From their report:
"Alcohol marketing communications have a powerful effect on young people and come in many forms. These include traditional advertisements on television through ubiquitous ambient advertising to new media such as social network sites and viral campaigns. The cumulative effect of this promotion is to reinforce and exaggerate strong pro-alcohol social norms."
This follows closely on the heels of last spring's statement by the British Chief Medical Officer that “Cheap alcohol is killing us as never before."
Wow. I knew the Brits were heavy drinkers, but this official zero-tolerance reaction reminds me of why the Americans like to call the UK a "nanny state"...
I mean, is promotion and availability alcohol really the reason that so many Brits are drunks, or is it just a result of despair from the pessimistic economic outlook that so many generations of them have grown up with? Hell, if I lived in a world like that portrayed by Coronation Street, I'd probably be drinking all the time, too.
What the British really need, in my opinion, is not to denormalize alcohol, but rather re-normalize it as a moderate social drink of good cheer. However, first they'll need something to be cheerful about.
FOLLOWUP: Nice letter to the editor in The Times Online.