Tobacco Advertising Is Illegal but Alcohol Is Not. Is This Hypocritical?

3161 Words Nov 9th, 2012 13 Pages
COMM 3P14 – Media Industries

Tobacco Advertising is Illegal, but Advertising for Alcohol is not, Is This Hypocritical?

Rebecca Stewart
4574927
Russell Johnston
Seminar 3
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
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Marketers should make responsible decisions, and not just focus on generating profits, because it is legal. “Ads should address audiences not just as consumers who care about material interests but as citizens who care about social virtues and the public good” (Hove, 2009, 35). The idea of advertising alcoholic beverages is unethical. While there are mild restrictions in Canada regarding alcohol promotions, there is a demand for more. Some provinces run ads that promote responsible drinking, or the dangers of drinking and driving in an attempt to shed light on alcohol abuse (Boone, 2010, 525). However, these attempts do not cancel out the multitude of beer and liquor advertisements in today’s media. Some alcohol advertisements include the ideology that drinking a certain brand of beer will influence their social class, or improve their quality of life in some way. This is extremely controversial. An article from the South African Journal of Psychology notes, “there are no laws against [alcohol] advertisements; however, responsible corporate and professional action, would prevent the use of these advertisements from a social and moral standpoint” (Dubihela & Dubihela, 2011, 209). Clearly, an ethical dilemma is present. The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission is one organization that has viewed alcohol advertisements critically. Since 1968 they have required broadcasters to report the number of alcohol related

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