Riana Herbold

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My topic is about whether or not the government should be allowed to “spy” on you (track your online searches, text messages, etc.). I chose this topic because I know a lot of people have very strong stances one way or the other. Because there’s a lot of controversy surrounding this topic, I think that it would make an excellent persuasion piece.

Part I: Intro:

(I changed my topic to… Should alcohol/drug manufacturers be allowed to advertise on television?)

As a young person who has not yet reached the legal drinking age, some may say that I have no business criticizing an activity I have not yet participated in. Many others would say that I lack the proper knowledge to form an opinion on this subject yet. However, although I, myself, have not had first hand experience, I see the negative effects of alcohol and drugs every day. Parents, friends, and family, for example. Along with this, I’ve done extensive research on the subject, and have found numerous scholarly articles about the effects of drug/alcohol and how it relates to the media. I will do my best in this paper to inform my readers of these effects and how various media outlets have had an influence on drugs/alcohol today.

Part II: Definition (Drugs vs. Alcohol):

If someone were to be asked to list the substances that cause bodily harm to the people of our society, “drugs and alcohol” would surely follow. The word “drugs” is defined  as “a medicine or other substance which has a physiological effect when ingested or otherwise introduced into the body.” Clearly, this word if very broad in the sense that there are thousands of other words that could fall beneath it. Although, oftentimes, people use the word “alcohol” as if it’s its own group, according to this definition, it is, in fact, also a drug. Over the years, the separation of these two words has lead many people to believe that alcohol isn’t as harmful as other substances. With that being the case, many companies that produce alcohol have taken advantage of this. For the purpose of this paper and to minimize the amount of confusion, the word “drugs” will also include alcohol.

Part III: Opposing Side:

According to the 2015 NSDUH, “about 7.7 million people ages 12–20 reported drinking alcohol in the past month (“Alcohol Facts and Statistics” par. 11).” In other words, the United States has seen a significant increase in drug abuse over the past 10 years; specifically, among teenagers. With that being the case, most people would agree that these statistics are alarming to say the least, and it’s no surprise that our country is quickly struggling to find a solution. One common proposal in discussion is drug advertising. While many people argue that drug advertisement is one of the key components that goes into teenage drug abuse, there are many others who disagree. Knowing that their common goal is the same, exploring every side to possible resolutions to this problem is crucial.

Because advertising is an essential component to business, it would be natural for businesses who could potentially be effected by a ban of drug advertising to be concerned. In “Reducing Underage Drinking: A Collective Responsibility” by David Jernigan, he states that alcohol advertising is used in order to increase “the overall market share of their brands alone and to protect that market share against brand switching by consumers (Jernigan par. 2).” In other words, it’s not used to increase overall consumption but only to compete with other brands (Jernigan par. 2). John Schwartz, in an article by the New York Times, explored this same topic. While Schwartz agrees with Jernigan about market competition being the end goal, he states that brand advertising is indirectly effecting the minds of our people. Although, like Jernigan states, market competition may be the only goal, according to Schwartz, brand adverting is doing more than just that (Schwartz par. 2).

Another fear worth addressing is the potential for backfiring. Rules don’t come without consequence. Where there’s rules, there’s always people who want to break them. In fact, in  “Alcohol Advertising Does Not Encourage Teens to Consume Alcohol”, David Hanson suggests that the banning of drug advertising may “inadvertently raise it up from the ordinary into the realm of the mysterious, highly desirable, tantalizing, and a must-have Big Deal (Hanson par. 49).” While there is evidence that supports this claim, in a separate article, Kimberly Kindy and Dan Keating, explores other potential outcomes. One of these outcomes is the normalization of drugs. According to Kindy and Keating, there is evidence that drug advertising could potentially lead to alcohol, cigarettes, and other various substances to be considered “the norm.” This, in turn, could lead to an even bigger increase in substance abuse (Kindy and Keating par. 1).

In the end, there are many valid reasons why the United States has not yet banned drug advertising. There are flaws to almost every side; however, in this particular situation, the creation of what one person might be seen as a problem, can potentially lead to a solution in a more important matter. In matters like these, it’s important to remember what the real problem is and what would be best to fix it. Unfortunately, drug abuse is a very real and ever-growing problem the United States faces today, and we need to find a solution fast.

Works Cited:

“Alcohol Facts and Statistics.” National Institutes of Health. U.S. Department of Health                    and Human Services, 2017. Web. 02 Mar. 2017.

Hanson, David J. “Alcohol Advertising Does Not Encourage Teens to Consume Alcohol.”                    Mass Media, edited by Roman Espejo, Greenhaven Press, 2010. Opposing                                    Viewpoints. Opposing Viewpoints in Context,                                                                                        link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/EJ3010152285/OVIC?u=wsalemhs&xid=720dd82c.                        Accessed 2 Mar. 2017. Originally published as “Center on Alcohol Marketing and                      Youth: Its Objectives and Methods,” Alcohol Abuse Prevention: Some Serious                          Problems, 2007.

Jernigan, David. “Alcohol Advertising and Promotion.” Reducing Underage Drinking: A                          Collective Responsibility. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 01 Jan. 2004. Web. 02                        Mar. 2017.

Kindy, Kimberly, and Dan Keating. “For Women, Heavy Drinking Has Been Normalized.                  That’s Dangerous.” The Washington Post. WP Company, 23 Dec. 2016. Web. 02 Mar.                  2017.

Schwartz, John. “Alcohol Ads on TV Find Their Way to Teenagers, a Study Finds, despite                  Industry Guidelines.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 17 Dec. 2002. Web.               02 Mar. 2017.

Part IV: My Position: 

According to the 2015 NSDUH, “about 7.7 million people ages 12–20 reported drinking alcohol in the past month (“Alcohol Facts and Statistics” par. 11).” In other words, the United States has seen a significant increase in drug abuse over the past 10 years; specifically, among teenagers. With that being the case, most people would agree that these statistics are alarming to say the least, and it’s no surprise that our country is quickly struggling to find a solution. One common proposal in discussion is drug advertising. Could drug advertising be the key to solving this ever growing problem? Although many would say no, there is evidence that shows otherwise.

In 2000, Budweiser spent an estimated $770 million on TV ads and another $15 million on radio commercials. Although there are plenty of other alcohol manufacturers who spend just as much on advertisements each year, Budweiser is particularly interesting. This brand is one of leading makers of children-targeting ads (Riccio par. 6). Oftentimes, manufacturers like Budweiser hide their immoral propaganda with public service announcements on “drinking responsibly.” However, according to an article by Current Health, it’s “estimated that for every public service announcement a kid hears about drinking, they’re likely to see 25 to 50 ads promoting beer or wine (Riccio par. 6).” After hearing statistics like these, the effectiveness of those “safe drinking” service announcements really comes into question.

According to Albert Bandura, one the most credited psychologists in United States history, the “Social Learning Theory” suggests that “repeated exposure to modeled behavior can result in behavioral change (Kilbourne par. 13).” In addition, this theory has been proven to be particularly effective among children. Knowingly or not, drug manufactures across the United States seem to take advantage of this. Alcohol and cigarettes are advertised by desirable individuals. Many ads imply that drinking is a rite of passage into adulthood (Kilbourne par. 17). According to the Center on Alcohol marketing and Youth, “almost a quarter of all television alcohol advertising in 2001 was delivered more effectively to youth than to adults (“Center on Alcohol marketing and Youth” par. 18).” When looking at the amount of advertisements our youth sees every day, the effects it must have on teenage drinking are undeniable. Consequently, studies have shown that teens who begin drinking are four times as likely to become alcoholics as those who don’t begin drinking until age 21 (Riccio par. 7).

Ultimately, the question on whether or not drug advertising is increasing drug abuse has only been tested on a small scale. Although there is much evidence to support the negative effects of drug ads, in the end, the most effective way to know if a potential solution will work, is to implement it. But how? Should we change the script of drug advertising or eradicate it altogether? Knowing that everyone’s common goal is the same: decreasing drug abuse in the United States, exploring every side to possible resolutions to this problem is crucial.

Works Cited:

Riccio, Nina. “Alcohol Advertising Promotes Underage Drinking.” Alcohol Abuse, edited by Ronnie D. Lankford, Greenhaven Press, 2007. At Issue. Opposing Viewpoints in Context, link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/EJ3010276218/OVIC?u=wsalemhs&xid=f352cda5. Accessed 10 Mar. 2017. Originally published as “How Alcohol Ads Target Teens: They’re Cute. They’re Funny. But Did You Ever Think That Those Funny, Sometimes Annoying Frogs Croaking the Name of a Beer Could Be Dangerous to You?” Current Health 2, vol. 29, no. 1, Sept. 2002, pp. 14-17.

Kilbourne, Jean. “Alcohol Advertising Contributes to Teen Alcohol Abuse.” Does Advertising Promote Substance Abuse?, edited by Laurie M. Newman, Greenhaven Press, 2005. At Issue. Opposing Viewpoints in Context, link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/EJ3010395204/OVIC?u=wsalemhs&xid=8ea2ff98. Accessed 10 Mar. 2017. Originally published as “Targets of Alcohol Advertising,” http://www.health20-20.org, 2000.

“Alcohol Facts and Statistics.” National Institutes of Health. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2017. Web. 02 Mar. 2017.

Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth. “Alcohol Advertising Targeted to Youth Causes Abuse.” Alcohol, edited by Karen F. Balkin, Greenhaven Press, 2004. Opposing Viewpoints. Opposing Viewpoints in Context, link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/EJ3010217247/OVIC?u=wsalemhs&xid=cf6c5122. Accessed 10 Mar. 2017. Originally published as “Television: Alcohol’s Vast Ad Land,” 2002.

My Paper:

Riana Herbold

English 110/Hour 7

Miss Armstrong

March 15, 2017

Drug Advertising 

As a young person who has not yet reached the legal drinking age, some may say that I have no business criticizing an activity I have not yet participated in. As a result, many people might argue that I lack the proper knowledge to form an opinion on the subject of alcohol or drugs. However, although I, myself, have not had first hand experience, I see the negative effects of alcohol and drugs every day. Parents, friends, and family, for example. These accounts combined with the extensive research I’ve done on the subject, has provided me with an endless amount of information on the effects of drug/alcohol and how various media outlets have had an influence on drugs/alcohol today. While many people argue that drug advertising is one of the key components that goes into drug abuse, others argue that it isn’t the solution we’re looking for. Knowing that their common goal is the same – decreasing drug abuse in the United States – exploring every side to possible resolutions to this problem is crucial.

If someone were asked to list the substances that cause bodily harm to the people of our society, “drugs and alcohol” would surely follow. The word “drugs” is defined  as “a medicine or other substance which has a physiological effect when ingested or otherwise introduced into the body.” Clearly, this word if very broad in the sense that there are thousands of other words that could fall beneath it. Although, oftentimes, people use the word “alcohol” as if it’s its own group, according to this definition, it is, in fact, also a drug. Over the years, the separation of these two words has lead many people to believe that alcohol isn’t as harmful as other substances. With that being the case, many companies that produce alcohol have taken advantage of this; specifically, within the media. In fact, alcohol abuse is becoming increasingly higher every year. For the purpose of this paper and to minimize the amount of confusion, from this point forward, the word “drugs” will also include alcohol.

In a recent 2015 study by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, “about 7.7 million people ages 12–20 reported excessively drinking alcohol in the past month (“Alcohol Facts and Statistics,” par. 11).” In addition, in 2013, an estimated 25 million Americans ages 12 or older reported to have used a drug in the past month (“Nationwide”). In other words, the United States has seen a significant increase in drug abuse over the past 15 years. In fact, drug abuse has increased by almost 8% since 2002 (“Nationwide”). Unfortunately, abuse has become particularly stronger amongst teenagers, and, in turn, this abuse follows into adulthood. Sadly, the media could provide an explanation to this recent increase in teenage drug abuse.

In the advertising industry, targeted advertising is used as a marketing strategy for many companies. This type of adverting focuses on certain traits of the consumer to increase company sales. In 2000, Budweiser spent an estimated $770 million on TV ads and another $15 million on radio commercials. Compared to the $2 billion dollars spent on alcohol advertising each year, this doesn’t seem like much; however, Budweiser is particularly interesting (Kaufman). This brand is one of leading makers of children-targeting ads (Riccio, par. 6). According to Albert Bandura, one the most credited psychologists in United States history, the “Social Learning Theory” suggests that “repeated exposure to modeled behavior can result in behavioral change (Kilbourne, par. 13).” In other words, exposure to these children-targeting ads could potentially increase the desire to drink and/or smoke. For example, alcohol and cigarettes are advertised by desirable individuals. In addition, many ads imply that drinking is a rite of passage into adulthood (Kilbourne, par. 17). According to the Center on Alcohol marketing and Youth, “almost a quarter of all television alcohol advertising in 2001 was delivered more effectively to youth than to adults (“Center,” par. 18).” Oftentimes, manufacturers like Budweiser try to hide their immoral propaganda with public service announcements on “drinking responsibly.” However, according to an article by Current Health, it’s “estimated that for every public service announcement a kid hears about drinking, they’re likely to see 25 to 50 ads promoting beer or wine (Riccio, par. 6).” When looking at the amount of advertisements our youth sees every day, the effects it must have on teenage drinking are undeniable. Consequently, studies have shown that teens who begin drinking are four times as likely to become alcoholics as those who don’t begin drinking until the of age 21 (Riccio, par. 7). With that being the case, most people would agree that these statistics are alarming to say the least, and it’s no surprise that our country is quickly struggling to find a solution. However, reluctance to transition into an era without drug advertising still exists.

For example, the extent to how much drug advertising actually effects our citizens has been up for debate. The two most common legal substances advertised in the United States are alcohol and cigarettes; however, the amount of illegal substances that contribute to drug abuse in the United States is much greater. Some of these include marijuana, cocaine, LSD, meth, and heroine. Obviously, these substances aren’t advertised. As a result, many argue that alcohol and cigarettes are only a small contribution to an even bigger picture. However, they are the bigger picture. Although the quantity of illegal drugs is much greater, the use of alcohol and cigarettes is higher than all of those combined. In addition, the use of many of the substances listed above is the product of legal substances (i.e alcohol and cigarettes). Alcohol and cigarettes are commonly used as a gateway into harder, more addictive, drugs like meth or cocaine.

Along with this, because advertising is an essential component to business, it would be natural for businesses who could be effected by a potential ban of drug advertising to be concerned. It could have devastating effect on the current drug industry and the United States economy. However, although it could potentially damage the economy in one area, it could also strengthen it in another. According the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, “Alcohol and drugs are implicated in an estimated 80% of offenses leading to incarceration in the United States.” In addition, nearly 50% of all jail and prison inmates are clinically addicted (“Alcohol”). In other words, substance abuse is proven to have a direct correlation with crime rate. Unfortunately, the United States spends an estimated $80 billion dollars on incarceration each year (Picchi). A decrease in crime rate could save the United States billions annually. In theory, a decrease in substance abuse could lead to a decrease in crime rate, and a decrease in drug advertising could lead to a decrease in substance abuse.

Another fear worth addressing is the potential for backfiring. Rules don’t come without consequence. Where there’s rules, there’s always people who want to break them. In fact, in  “Alcohol Advertising Does Not Encourage Teens to Consume Alcohol,” David Hanson suggests that the banning of drug advertising may “inadvertently raise alcohol or cigarettes from the ordinary into the realm of the mysterious, highly desirable, tantalizing, and a must-have Big Deal (Hanson, par. 49).” However, because a drug ban has never been tested on a large scale in the United States, this claim has no substantial evidence. On the other hand, Kimberly Kindy and Dan Keating, explore other potential outcomes. One of these outcomes is the normalization of drugs. According to Kindy and Keating, there is evidence that suggests drug advertising has lead to alcohol, cigarettes, and other various substances to be considered “the norm.” This, in turn, could have contributed to this recent increase in substance abuse (Kindy and Keating, par. 1).

Still, many of the potential outcomes against the banning of drug advertising are nothing more than speculation. There are flaws to almost every side; however, in this particular situation, the possible creation of what one person might be seen as a problem, can potentially lead to a solution in a more important matter. In matters like these, it’s important to remember what the real problem is and what would be best to fix it. It all comes down to one question: Do the potential negatives outweigh the potential positives? I believe answer is yes. Evidently, our current system isn’t working, and in the end, the most effective way to know if a potential solution will work, is to implement it.

Works Cited 

“Alcohol, Drugs and Crime.” National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, 27 June 2015, www.ncadd.org/about- addiction/alcohol-drugs-and-crime. Accessed 23 Mar. 2017.

“Alcohol Facts and Statistics.” National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohol-health/overview-alcohol-consumption/ alcohol-facts-and-statistics. Accessed 23 Mar. 2017.

Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth. “Alcohol Advertising Targeted to Youth Causes Abuse.” Alcohol, edited by Karen F. Balkin, Greenhaven Press, 2004. Opposing Viewpoints. Opposing Viewpoints in Context, link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/EJ3010217247/OVIC? u=wsalemhs&xid=cf6c5122. Accessed 10 Mar. 2017. Originally published as “Television: Alcohol’s Vast Ad Land,” 2002.

Hanson, David J. “Alcohol Advertising Does Not Encourage Teens to Consume Alcohol.” Mass Media, edited by Roman Espejo, Greenhaven Press, 2010. Opposing Viewpoints. Opposing Viewpoints in Context, link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/EJ3010152285/OVIC? u=wsalemhs&xid=720dd82c. Accessed 2 Mar. 2017. Originally published as “Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth: Its Objectives and Methods,” Alcohol Abuse Prevention: Some Serious Problems, 2007.

Kaufman, Alexander. “Why You’Re Getting Bombarded With More Alcohol Ads Than Ever Before.” The Huffington Post, The Huffington Post, 30 Mar. 2015, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/03/30/99-ad-buys-of-beer-on-the-wall_n_6957198.html. Accessed 23 Mar. 2017.

Kilbourne, Jean. “Alcohol Advertising Contributes to Teen Alcohol Abuse.” Does Advertising Promote Substance Abuse?, edited by Laurie M. Newman, Greenhaven Press, 2005. At Issue. Opposing Viewpoints in Context, link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/EJ3010395204/ OVIC?u=wsalemhs&xid=8ea2ff98. Accessed 10 Mar. 2017. Originally published as “Targets of Alcohol  Advertising,” http://www.health20-20.org, 2000.

Kindy, Kimberly, and Dan Keating. “For Women, Heavy Drinking Has Been Normalized. That’s Dangerous.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 23 Dec. 2016, http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/for-women-heavy-drinking-has-been-normalized- thats-dangerous/2016/12/23/0e701120-c381-11e6-9578-0054287507db_story.html? utm_term=.db41a2b96206. Accessed 23 Mar. 2017.

“Nationwide Trends.” NIDA, National Institute on Drug Abuse , June 2015, www.drugabuse.gov/ publications/drugfacts/nationwide-trends. Accessed 22 Mar. 2017.

Picchi, Aimee. “The High Price of Incarceration in America.” CBS News, CBS Interactive, 8 May 2014, http://www.cbsnews.com/news/the-high-price-of-americas-incarceration-80-billion/. Accessed 23 Mar. 2017.

Riccio, Nina. “Alcohol Advertising Promotes Underage Drinking.” Alcohol Abuse, edited by Ronnie D. Lankford, Greenhaven Press, 2007. At Issue. Opposing Viewpoints in Context, link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/EJ3010276218/OVIC?u=wsalemhs&xid=f352cda5. Accessed 10 Mar. 2017. Originally published as “How Alcohol Ads Target Teens: They’re Cute. They’re Funny. But Did You Ever Think That Those Funny, Sometimes Annoying Frogs Croaking the Name of a Beer Could Be Dangerous to You?” Current Health 2, vol. 29, no. 1, Sept. 2002, pp. 14-17

16 Comments Add yours

  1. koecou says:

    Isn’t it literally wild how we’re STILL doing this even though there’s no actual reason? Of course this made sense back when mankind was struggling to survive in the Ice Age & everything and men HAD to be the ones hunting and women HAD to raise the children but literally anyone can adopt a baby or pick up a rotisserie chicken.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I think gender stereotyping is so unnecessary, not everything is black or white and not everything only has two options

    Like

  3. mulkay says:

    I think that some gender roles make sense. I don’t agree that limiting someone in anyway is ok just because of their gender. I think that our generation’s focus on gender makes it a bigger problem than it is.

    Like

  4. hefkay17 says:

    It would be really interesting to see why we associate certain colors to genders. I’ve never really understood why people connect a color to a gender, and I would be curious to see if there is an actual reason as to why this occurs.

    Like

  5. wyattmolling says:

    I think people put too much time and stress into understanding genders and it just creates anonymity.

    Like

  6. dunnumpaige says:

    Could you offer a solution to get rid/decrease use of gender roles?

    Like

  7. nollabby says:

    I feel like this involves how girls are supposed to like the color pink, and boys are supposed to like the color blue. It also involves what toys different genders are supposed to play with and etc. I do believe there should be more freedom

    Like

  8. burkhardt.carlie says:

    I think children should be able to go in the toy section and pick out every one of their toys once they are at the appropriate age with supervision. I think this would minimize a lot of the gender roles.

    Like

  9. katiekrien says:

    Media as a child plays such a role in unconscious gender bias! Children see that boys are suppose to act a certain way and vise versa.

    Like

  10. emilyungerer says:

    I’m curious to how exactly it effects our belief when we are older and our creativity. I would be intrigued to see how this changes how we treat others and if it even effects our confidence and understanding of ourselves and those around us. I do not know much about the topic, but would be interested to learn more about it.

    Like

  11. I am interested in how gender roles have changed from the past and where they are headed in the future? Do you know? Because that is something that fascinates me, and is there a way we can demolish those roles.

    Like

  12. knutsjes000 says:

    I am curious to learn about the effects gender stereotyping has in the long run. Does it effect a child physically? Academically? Socially?

    Like

  13. huntermolly123 says:

    Between the ages of 6-11 are when you are the most “moldable” and that’s when children normally hear about and understand what people are telling them about what to wear, what to play with, what they are “allowed” to like, etc. Have gender roles always been the same, or are they still changing in today’s society?

    Like

  14. trautmanemily says:

    I think media is partly to blame. What are some ways to change this or what has already been changed?

    Like

  15. Stereotyping people by gender is something everyone has dealt with at some point. I wonder when people first began “assigning” gender roles how they came up with those roles?

    Like

  16. ericksells says:

    I think it is pathetic that even in our high school, certain genders are associated with certain clubs and hobbies. For example, since I was in the musical, it got back to me that a portion of the people in the grade above me thought I was gay! I wasn’t offended, but rather very surprised!

    Like

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