facebook twitter RSS
HOT TOPICS: Drug and Alcohol Treatment  Heroin

Booze Ads Mislead With "Drink Responsibly" Line

Industry watchdog calls out alcohol companies for using the message deceptively.


Thanks for the advice, Heineken. Photo via

By May Wilkerson


| Share

Our friends over at Heineken, Patron and Smirnoff are worried about our drinking, which is why they often remind us to "drink responsibly" in ads for their products, i.e. "The perfect way to enjoy Patron is...responsibly". But this is a load of Bogus Strategizing, according to a new report by the US-based alcohol industry watchdog "Alcohol Justice." The report calls out Big Alcohol for touting the "Drink Responsibly" message under the pretense of protecting people from the dangers of drinking—when in fact, the message is being used, deceptively, to sell booze. "Alcohol producers and marketers are more interested in their public relations than public health," says report co-author Sarah Mart. "So it's not surprising that they hide behind a vague, ineffective slogan that does nothing to reduce the annual catastrophe of harm caused by their products." After reviewing the "drink responsibly" message in 41 different magazines geared towards young readers, Mart notes that the messages were often concealed, blended in to the background, or "tiny in relation to the size of the entire ads." But the biggest problem, she claims, is that the message is used to increase sales, not to actually encourage moderate drinking. "Big Alcohol should stop disguising its alcohol promotion as a public service, and government should stop accepting the 'drink responsibly' charade at face value," states Bruce Lee Livingston, Executive Director/CEO of Alcohol Justice. "We are asking today for State Attorney Generals to investigate the alcohol industry's 'drink responsibly' messages as misleading and deceptive advertising."

Most Popular
Sober Living
Did I Pick the Wrong Sponsor, Or Is it Me?

After four years of thinking about asking someone to sponsor me, someone finally asked to be my sponsor. But I'm not sure it was a good decision... for either of us.

The Rehab Review
Cliffside Malibu

The “beach-house-relaxed” Cliffside Malibu claims to provide an oasis for recovering addicts and alcoholics. And that’s just what you'll get—if you’ve got the cash.

Morningside Recovery

For a “rehab near the beach” experience that isn’t quite as costly as similar SoCal competitors, head to this Newport Beach treatment facility.

AToN Center

Whether you’re interested in the 12 Steps, SMART Recovery, or holistic treatments, this luxurious San Diego rehab has a program for you—if you can tear yourself away from “the most amazing massages ever."

The Ultimate Guide to Rehab

What you need to know when choosing an addiction treatment center.

the fix tv