Blog of me. I’m Alexander Jones.

15 July 2008

“SoCo for everyone?”

There’s a new Southern Comfort advert doing the rounds in the UK, subtitled “For Picture-Perfect Nights”.

The spot places absolutely no focus on the qualities of the drink itself, instead choosing to portray the scene of a trendy club playing trendy rock music, in which lots of pretty guys and girls flirt, dance, and order trendy mixers for each other.

Right, look. I am pretty libertarian in political orientation, so I’m hardly going to argue that glamorizing alcohol use on TV should be banned. Let’s be reasonable, the advert’s on after the watershed, it carries the “Drink Aware” badge, and we all know that susceptible kids who are unable to enforce their own limits are long since tucked up in bed. (Hah!) I’m sure the angry letters have already been sent to the ASA, so there’s no need to go down that route. But, what I find incredible is that this advert so purely and remorselessly promotes the recreational use of drugs, and because it’s “only” alcohol, that somehow makes it OK.

This double standard is beginning to grate me now. It is widely accepted amongst those with the credentials (I make no stronger claim than that) that alcohol use is much more harmful both directly to the human body and to society in general than many of the drugs we currently outlaw (BBC report). Why, then, is it still illegal for me to drop a couple of E’s at a rave, whilst Big Alcohol are allowed to actively pimp the entirely functional aspect of spirit-strength alcoholic drinks on prime time TV?

The alcohol and tobacco industry lobbyists have it so well embedded in popular opinion that everyone else’s drugs are bad. They are loving their cozy little duopoly on recreational intoxication. What does it take for sanity to prevail?

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