Thursday, January 17, 2008

Anti-Drinking Ads May Backfire

Some researchers and doctors warned against the types of anti-drinking ads they are running in the UK, claiming they could backfire and glamorize "the life."

The ads portrayed such events as drunken kids being thrown out of nightclubs and passing out in doorways. Researchers said many young people see this kind of behavior as normal and a way to assert their identity, further noting that drinking stories deepened the bonds between friends.

I have often said much the same about the American anti-drug ads, albeit in the opposite direction: until a few years ago, most of the anti-drug ads portrayed all drugs as causing irrevocable damage, which simply is not true. You might recall the commercial where the kids who smoked a joint ran over a child on a bicycle who just happened to be riding through a drive-thru window while they were at a complete standstill.

The problem with these types of scare tactics is that kids learn very quickly that smoking a joint is not going to lead to such disastrous results, leaving them to wonder if harder drugs have also been so grossly mischaracterized as dangerous.

The only way these attempts at reaching-out to younger people are going to work is if they stop trying to make a point and offer straightforward, honest truth. The newer anti-pot commercials being shown in American markets are far more effective, accurately portraying the fact that kids who smoke pot too frequently never really amount to much, simply because getting high makes you want to sit around and do nothing.

Of course, they could always become bloggers...

© C Harris Lynn, 2008

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