Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen, adjudicator and fellow debaters. My name is Ben Tennyson and I am the second speaker of the Affirmative team. Our topic for today is that should alcohol advertising be banned? We the affirmative believe this statement and will leave you with no doubt that alcohol advertising should be banned. Rebuttal. Our first speaker talked to you about how…Today I will be talking to you about why children are susceptible and vulnerable to alcohol advertising and how alcohol advertising affects children as they are more exposed to ads these days.
Now to my points.
In today’s society children are watching more television than ever, going onto the internet more often and have seen countless commercials in their lifetime. And it is these children that are being exposed to significantly more alcohol advertisements than ever. Children and adolescents have greater vulnerability to the harmful effects of alcohol than adults. As well as usually being physically smaller, they lack experience of drinking and its effects. They have no context or reference point for assessing or regulating their drinking, and, furthermore, they have built up no tolerance to alcohol. In advertisements children and youth are particularly drawn to certain elements. These elements include music, characters, story and humour.
There is no doubt that Carton Draught’s advertisements Slow motion and This is a big add both have elements of music and humour which catch the eye of children and youth. Because of this children are more likely to remember these advertisements and since these ads perceive positive consequences of drinking this start to give children an idea of alcohol. These ideas then lead towards a greater likelihood of drinking, or intention to drink in the future.
An incident earlier this year was discovered as alcohol advertising was seen on a children’s website. On the doll themed Bratz website advertisements automatically played for a minimum of 30 seconds before any game you played. Reportedly advertisements included both Hahn and Crown Lager beers. The Cancer Council reported the issue but couldn’t stop the advertisements as laws weren’t strong enough. It was also reported that children from the age of three were playing on the website on that day. Due to the fact that we don’t have strong laws we have just exposed the next generation to alcohol advertisements, ultimately, negatively influencing their future life choices and lifestyle. This is why alcohol advertisements should be banned as it can set the wrong idea of alcohol to youth.
My second point, focuses on the harmful ramifications associated with adolescent drinking. From mid-adolescence to early adulthood there are major increases in the amount and frequency of alcohol consumption and alcohol-related problems. Those with heavier consumption in their mid-teens tend to be those with heavier consumption, alcohol dependence and alcohol related harm, including poorer mental health, poorer education outcome and increased risk of crime in early adulthood1. During adolescence, alcohol can lead to structural changes in the hippocampus (a part of the brain involved in the learning process) and at high levels can permanently impair brain development2. Drinking by adolescents and young adults is associated with automobile crash injury and death, suicide and depression, missed classes and decreased academic performance, loss of memory, blackouts, fighting, property damage, peer criticism and broken friendships, date rape, and unprotected sexual intercourse that places people at risk for sexually transmitted diseases, HIV infection and unplanned pregnancy.
According to the official European Alcohol Policy Alliance website, in 2006, over one in five of 11-15 year olds in England reported drinking alcohol in the week prior to interview. Although this proportion slowly began declining in recent years, amongst those who drank alcohol the average weekly consumption has almost doubled from 42g of alcohol in 1990 to 83g of alcohol in 2000. An independent review of the effects of alcohol pricing and promotion for the Department of Health concluded that “Regardless of their explicit intention there is evidence for an effect of alcohol advertisements on underage drinkers. Consistent with this, evidence suggests that exposure to such interventions as TV, music videos and billboards, which contain alcohol advertisements, predicts onset of youth drinking and increased drinking. As a consequence one may conclude that restricting the volume of advertisements and merchandising is likely to reduce consumption and subsequent harm.”