Weakening Gen. McCaffrey's Hand!

Weakening Gen. McCaffrey's Hand!
Posted by FoM on June 24, 1999 at 07:13:30 PT
Source: Washinton Post
The Post's June 18 editorial on including alcohol in the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign was correct from a public health perspective: Underage drinking is a serious problem that deserves attention. But from a marketing perspective, The Post was incorrect to suggest that simply adding alcohol messages to this campaign will add to its effectiveness.
I don't question the relevance of targeting underage drinking. But as an advertising professional with more than 30 years of experience, I question the wisdom of risking and perhaps killing the effectiveness of one media campaign to create another that cannot and will not work given current limitations.What message would you use to persuade teenagers not to drink beer? What would you to say to parents to change their attitudes about wine? What would you say to both to convince them that drinking excessively can be dangerous?No one knows, because extensive research to determine this has not been done. Additionally, to really change attitudes about alcohol, this campaign would have to compete head-to-head with the billions spent to market alcohol products. Shaving money out of the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign would not accomplish this. We do not question the rightness of addressing underage drinking. Our concerns focus on what we can and cannot accomplish with the current appropriation.RICHARD D. BONNETTEPresident and CEOPartnership for a Drug-Free AmericaNew YorkBeer is not an illegal drug. Beer wholesalers are not drug dealers and are not engaged in drive-by shootings or other criminal activities. Therefore, the National Beer Wholesalers Association believes it would be wrong to include anti-alcohol messages under the domain of the president's director of national drug policy, Barry McCaffrey, to fight illegal drug use by America's youth. To do so would dilute his effort to fight youth addiction to illicit drugs -- crack, heroin, "crank," cocaine -- and other drugs that create a criminal culture.The amendment sponsored by Reps. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Calif.) and Frank Wolf (R-Va.) seeks to equate the illegal underage purchase and consumption of beer with the physiological addiction posed by crack, cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine. The amendment undermines the work done by the Office of National Drug Control Policy to combat illicit drug use among America's youth. Moreover, both the Partnership for a Drug-Free America and Gen. McCaffrey have publicly opposed the mandate that would result.The beer industry is fighting the illegal purchase and consumption of beer by minors and spends millions annually on alcohol-awareness programs targeted at youth, and Congress has appropriated more than $800 million to other government agencies to reduce alcohol abuse and illegal underage alcohol consumption.Weakening Gen. McCaffrey's illicit-drug program will result only in strengthening the hand of America's criminal drug dealers.RONALD SARASINPresidentNational Beer Wholesalers Association
Home Comment Email Register Recent Comments Help

Comment #3 posted by Doctor Dave on June 26, 1999 at 00:23:23 PT
Lies and Truth in Drug Education
"Beer is not an illegal drug."BEER *IS* AN ILLEGAL DRUG FOR CHILDREN. Possession, use, manufacture, and sale."Beer wholesalers are not drug dealers and are not engaged in drive-by shootings or other criminal activities."Drug criminalization causes drive-by shootings and (by simple definition) criminal activities."Therefore, the National Beer Wholesalers Association believes it would be wrong to include anti-alcohol messages..."What a logic fallacy! The argument and conclusion don't relate.The REAL TRUTH of the matter is that propaganda fails to differentiate between use and abuse. Instead of adopting a "these are the objective facts about these drugs and someday you'll have to make a decision just like everyone else" the message is to just say no. Tell a typical adolescent male not to do something (but not why) and just see how well he's going to listen...Doctor Dave
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #2 posted by Jeaneous on June 24, 1999 at 10:50:51 PT:
Alcohol education
This is a touchy subject for all of them involved. MONEY!I have 3 teenagers, the eldest 18 and she keeps me informed of the news from her school.. To date they have lost 5 kids to alcohol related abuses. Some from drunk driving, one committed suicide while drunk, another that survived, one of the top of the class, drank 17 shots of tequilla and threw up the lining in his stomach. He is considered one of their strong sports players, so they must stay away from marijuana, so alcohol is the drug.It's very apparent that kids are not taught the dangers concerning alcohol abuse which can be deadly, but they are taught that marijuana is an additive drug that leads you on to cocaine, heroin and the such.Sounds like they might need to hear more of what can happen to you if you drink the legal booze to excess, since that seems to be the most popular since it isn't considered an illegal substance.The "War on Drugs" warriors fear the kids might choose marijuana over alcohol once they find the truth about which is more physically dangerous.DEA is slowly backing themselves into a corner and as any cornered animal they will fight with a vengence. My opinion is they will not touch alcohol because of the money filtered to them from the alcohol companies. But I think the issue should be pressed heavily with them since it is a much more dangerous drug than the natural herb of marijuana.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #1 posted by Tim Budd on June 24, 1999 at 08:51:57 PT:
They could just lie...
If they included alcohol in the ads, they could just lie like they do about everything else in the ad. I guess that is why they cant do it, because the public is fairly well informed. It is interesting to note that beer wholesalers do not engage in drive-by shootings, maybe it is because they sell a legal drug. 
[ Post Comment ]

Post Comment

Name: Optional Password: 
Comment: [Please refrain from using profanity in your message]
Link URL: 
Link Title: