Adolescents attention to beer and cigarette print ads and associated product warnings

Topic: BusinessAccountability
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Last updated: April 16, 2019

The article focuses on the impact of warnings on beer and cigarettes ads, and how young people pay or not pay attention to these, and if there is something involved on the way these warnings are presented within the ad. “young people see more television commercials for alcoholic beverages than they do for jeans, sneakers or acne creams, according to a new study from a health policy group”( Schwartz, 2002) something very similar occurs with print ads when on magazines or newspapers that are “supposed” to be for a very different type of audience (adults).

“The company places so many advertisements in magazines with ”huge youth readerships,” like Sports Illustrated and Rolling Stone,”(Winter, 2002)There has been lots controversy when it comes to advertisement campaigns and strategies of alcohol and cigarettes, and determining which their target audience is really when you can find ads on different media. But isn’t this purpose of advertising? According to one of many definitions, “Advertising is the non personal communication of information usually paid for and usually persuasive in nature about products, services or ideas by identified sponsors through the various media.” So we can see that no matter if you are advertising products such as alcohol, cigarettes, cereal, cars or any other product “The only purpose of advertising is to sell.

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It has no other justification worth mentioning”. (Raymond Rubicam). But with these definitions and going back to the social context that alcohol and cigarettes represent in modern society despite the numerous efforts of letting everyone know about the risks and danger of this products, on the test conducted on teenagers mentioned on the article; it clearly shows that “adolescents have substantial interest in smoking and drinking” (Fox, 1998) no matter warnings.

Why is that? Do characters such as Joe Camel have anything to? A 1991 survey in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that Joe Camel is as recognizable to 6-year-olds as Mickey Mouse.If I were the consumer marketing director of one the mentioned brands in the article, I would feel that the major purpose of my strategy inducing or making people to buy my product would be achieving no matter the warnings. If I can get potential consumers to start buying my product at very young age, I would probably be creating brand loyals for a future.

Consumers that “already have a maximum awareness of, and a strongly favorable attitude toward our brand” (Rossiter, 1997 p 58) If I can get a child to recognize Joe Camel the same way he recognizes Mickey Mouse, I would already have make a long way towards my selling purpose.However there is always a counterpart on every argument, looking from a social perspective and based on the facts that alcohol and cigarettes can affect seriously your health; it would not be safe that young people bye this type of products. But how can you do this? Tobacco and Alcohol companies have faced this kind of problem and there has been a lot of legal and social pressure against their strategies and advertising.Are warnings enough to let know about the risks and dangers? “The warnings are ostensibly designed to make people aware of the adverse effects of smoking on health. However, information provision does not necessarily equate to information impact.” (Fox, 1998) Not always.

On the test results that the article mentions we can see that even if this information is printed in the advertisement, it not always is adequate and fulfills its purpose of warning. That is what in may countries if not all, there has been a major concern on the way this companies handle their advertising, and if it reaches young people what other ways or methods can be use to help and prevent early consumption of cigarettes and alcohol.

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