Wine, Facebook and the Threat of Flesh Eating Zombies
A new study appears to shows that young adults aged 21 to 24 increase their desire to drink after seeing Facebook ads and posts for alcohol companies that contain positive comments. On the other hand, they are less inclined to drink if there are negative comments under the social media post.
The researchers conclude that the alcoholic drinks industry should restrict or ban comments on social media advertising and posts.
By the way, if you are wondering what the researchers at the University of Connecticut considered to be positive and negative Facebook comments, they are these:
“Some call it a six pack I call it my support group”, or “I done had so many of these tonight lol” or “I lost a friend behind your product. U guys suck” or “i don’t even drink or smoke, can’t say i miss this.”
While the researchers conclude that new regulations restricting the ability of social media users to engage with social media alcohol ads and posts are needed. I, on the other hand, conclude that I need to figure out how my clients’ social media ads and posts need to provoke more engagement.
I agree 100% with the long-accepted proposition that alcohol companies ought not to aim their ads, promotions and marketing efforts at individuals who are below the legal drinking age. This is not only prudent but also socially responsible. What I don’t agree with is the proposition that any advertisement, promotion or marketing effort aimed at folks of legal drinking age that happens to be effective ought to be banned. And this is exactly what the researchers who conducted this study believe ought to happen. This is no more than another way of suggesting that alcohol ought not be allowed to market their products in any way. And it’s an absurd idea.
It should be noted that the researchers feel comfortable recommending these kinds of restrictions after surveying a mere 120 people between the age of 21 and 24. Not being a responsible researcher who believes alcohol ought to be prohibited from being produced and consumed, I would only feel comfortable recommending restrictions on allowing comments on social media ads and posts from alcohol companies if it could be demonstrated that upon laying their eyes on these comments young adults reacted with seizures and a desire to eat human flesh. Who will do that study?