Two pieces of insubstantial but mildly amusing drinking-related “news” out of Dartmouth (where Keggy the Keg was recently snubbed in favor of a moose as the school’s non-color unofficial mascot):
First is the seminal game-changer of a study published in the
Journal of Common Sense Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine by two Dartmouth pediatricians showing that there is “a correlation between alcohol companies’ annual advertising expenditures and underage drinkers’ preferred brands.”
Call me crazy, but is that not the point of advertising? Obviously ads shouldn’t be aimed at underage drinkers (and they’re not), but it’s no secret that underage drinkers can view alcohol advertisements, and those ads wouldn’t be very good ads if they didn’t instill some level of brand loyalty in all viewers, regardless of age or legal drinking status. Tacking on the underage factor to this study seems like a cheap reason for MomBlog Nation to get all hot and bothered that Smirnoff Ice is ruining our nation’s vulnerable youth.
If that isn’t hand-wringingly terrifying enough, the study also concludes that “respondents who said they had a favorite brand were significantly more likely to report having engaged in binge drinking than those who did not specify a favorite.”
Unfortunately Ivygate’s in-house pediatrics correspondent is off this week, so I’ll be doing the analysis in her place: This is basic logic, just presented backwards. It’s impossible to pick a favorite brand if you’ve never had a drink, or if you drink so infrequently that you can’t compare one brand of alcohol to another. Having a favorite brand does not make someone more likely to binge drink, but binge drinking (more experience with different types of alcohol) makes it more likely that a person will have a favorite brand. Please put away your pitchforks and tell us something new.
Thirst for drinking-related news still not quenched? Read on for more hysteria in Hanover. Read the rest of this entry »