Tobacco Advertising is Illegal, but Advertising for Alcohol is not, Is This Hypocritical?
November 11, 2012
Advertisements are a vital part of any company’s marketing strategy, and are used to inform or persuade an audience about a certain product or service. In fact, North American companies are among the world’s highest advertisers (Boone et al., 2010, 502). Today, an average consumer is exposed to hundreds of advertisements every day. It is when these companies attempt to promote a dangerous product that restrictions must be, and have been put in place. For several years, Canada’s regulations on tobacco advertisements have become stricter, while …show more content…
This code includes provisions to ensure promotions for alcoholic beverages do not encourage non-drinkers or young people to drink or purchase alcohol, imply a certain brand is superior because of a higher alcohol percentage, and that consumption of alcohol enhances enjoyment of an activity (CRTC 2011). These regulations are far more lenient compared to the restrictions on tobacco advertising. Advertising Standards Canada has now gained responsibility to review advertisements concerning alcohol to ensure they are in accordance with the CRTC’s code (Darling, 1996).
Moreover, alcohol is just as dangerous to society as tobacco. Statistics Canada shows that alcohol use by drivers was a factor in nearly 30% of motor vehicle related deaths from 2003-2005 (Statistics Canada, 2011). Also, deaths from other alcohol related disorders such as cirrhosis of the liver accounted for over 1400 deaths in 2003 (Statistics Canada, 2009). The most relevant stakeholders in this issue, young people, are severely affected by alcohol use in Canada. In 2011, 13.2% of Canadian youth ages 12 to 19 fell under the heavy drinker category, that is, consuming 5 or more drinks on one occasion at least once a month (Statistics Canada, 2011). Similarly, “the rate of persons accused of impaired driving offences was highest among young adults between the ages of 19 and 24” (Statistics Canada, 2011). Additionally, 28.8% of Canadian students admitted to being driven by someone