“The official beer of Saturday morning,” is the reprehensible (and that’s the only word that comes to mind) tag line for a new TV ad for Coors Light beer that appeared during the football games this past weekend.
The ad depicts two roommates in their early to mid 20s who are preparing breakfast and then sit down on their couch to watch the football games while still clad in their pajamas.
They then break out the Coors Lights while eating breakfast and watching TV.
In our view, this ad represents a new low for a liquor industry that increasingly is targeting a younger and younger audience with messages that essentially equate having a good time with getting drunk.
Right after the Coors ad came one for Budweiser’s Platinum Light beer. We did not know why it was called platinum so we looked it up. It turns out that regular Bud Light has an alcohol content of 4.2 percent, but Bud Platinum has an alcohol content of 6 percent.
Here’s how Bud describes its Platinum product on its web site: “Platinum is back. And the memories are sure to follow. With a sleek new look and the same smooth, slightly sweet finish, it’s time to kick your night off the right way. The Platinum way.”
In other words, “kick your night off” is a euphemism for becoming inebriated faster. And what about this line: “And the memories are sure to follow.” Really?Drunken memories will be something to remember?
But the liquor industry is not the only one to blame. Universities also are now part and parcel of the problem of drawing-in underage drinkers. As the Wall Street Journal recently reported, a growing number of colleges are striking deals for in-stadium beer sales and sponsorships, in part to combat declining ticket sales.
The opioid crisis rightly has attracted national attention because of the number of overdose deaths attributable to drug abuse. However, the harm to individuals and society in general caused by drugs, legal and illegal, still pales in comparison to the harm caused by alcohol abuse.
It is clear that the big liquor companies, aided and abetted by our universities, are trying to attract young people to their products. Given that the research definitively has shown that drinking before the age of 25 can harm the still-developing brain, and that drinking while in the teen years can increase the risks of alcoholism by five-fold, the time has come for our government to step in and regulate alcohol advertising similar to what occurred in the 1990s when the tide was turned against Big Tobacco, which clearly was targeting a youthful audience with its Joe Camel and other advertising campaigns.
If encouraging “Saturday morning” drinking is considered acceptable in liquor ads, what’s next?