Some time ago, I chronicled how alcohol producers were bad citizens for producing alcopops like “Four Loco” and others that were so obviously aimed at underage drinkers.
Just when I thought that alcohol producers and their ostensibly missing in action regulators couldn’t get any more outrageous, they have.
Soon, it may be possible to purchase a 12-ounce drink that has eight shots of whiskey in it.
Eighty-proof whiskey is being produced in the same flip top cans that soda sometimes comes in. The non-resealable can of course encourages the consumer to drink the entire content of the can.
Just to put this in perspective, a 160 pound man who drank one can in an hour would have a blood alcohol level of .18 to .22, enough to cause significant motor impairment, loss of memory and blackouts.
Whiskey, especially expensive whiskey, is almost exclusively the drink of adults. First of all, it is expensive when compared to beer or wine. A single bottle of good whiskey can cost over a hundred dollars such as Middleton’s Irish Whiskey, a Forbes list top ten at $139 a bottle. I doubt that there are more than a handful of teenagers that even know this whiskey exists.
Expensive whiskey makers don’t aim advertisements at children. Could it be that some advertising genius started reading about underage drinkers and a light bulb went off in his head, because underage drinkers are often under the scrutiny of adults. When they drink they must consume as much alcohol as they can in the shortest amount of time.
Move over Four Loco and other dangerous alcopops, there are a new and even more ridiculously lethal drink that underage drinkers will undoubtedly seek out, whiskey in a can.
A can with eight shots of high octane, 80 proof whiskey. Given the alcohol punch in each can, the $5 price tag is a bargain when you factor that the purchaser is getting the same amount of alcohol that they would in eight cans of beer.
The only element that might deter young drinkers may be the taste and it must be decidedly unpalatable at $5 a can. Though, if underage drinkers are seeking only to become intoxicated, mixing the eight shot can with soda or juice may camouflage the taste.
While I am flabbergasted that alcohol producers would market such a product, I am even more surprised that they are allowed to produce such a drink.
Alcohol regulators don’t seem to see the linkage between these drinks and their intended audience. In addition to one outrageous youth drink after another, alcohol advertising has increased exponentially.
According to the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, alcohol advertising aimed at youth has increased by 50-percent in the last decade. Advertising by alcohol producers with their deep pockets have often defeated the efforts of advertising by government agencies and private organizations seeking to warn young people about the dangers of underage drinking.
Honestly, I cannot think of even one reason for advertising aimed at young people to be allowed. We don’t allow tobacco producers to do it and alcohol producers shouldn’t be allowed to do it either. Large-scale advertisers such as the beer producers could explicitly state that underage drinking is dangerous by making a statement in their advertising that is aimed at adults.
These advertisers know that children like talking animals including those that have been featured in beer advertisements over the last ten years. Sure some adults find these advertisements amusing, however, advertisements that were more adult focused could also reinforce the message to youth that they are not part of the target audience.
I don’t suppose that underage drinking can be eliminated, however, do we really need to encourage underage drinking? Do we need to allow the production and marketing of drinks that seem to be aimed at youth? Hopefully, most adults would agree that the answer to both of these questions is no.
Remember, all kids count.
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