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Trisha Torrey

A Whine About Wine - and More

By January 9, 2013

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Have you noticed what I have noticed? Just in the past few weeks, there is more alcohol (most notably, wine) being promoted on TV, especially to encourage daytime drinking, than I ever remember seeing. Ever.

Now don't get me wrong. I like a glass of wine with dinner, maybe 3-4 nights a week. So it's not like I'm against alcohol, or believe it's a sign of Satan. I'm no prude. Not at all.

And watching a TV show where someone has a glass of wine in front of them, or even takes a sip, just as part of the setting... no problem.

But here are three places I've noticed what I consider to be the wrong message, during just the past few weeks:

1. Hoda and Kathy Lee are doing over the top amounts of alcohol, promoting the amount of alcohol they imbibe on morning TV (Today Show) more than ever before. I've seen the promos over and over again, especially as retrospectives of 2012. It's all about the alcohol (mostly wine and champagne, but cocktails, too.) All that alcohol before 11am.

2. Ads for Cougar Town. Wine is the center of the promo, with copious amounts of wine being chugged and then thrown all over other characters. I've seen Twitter versions of the same thing.

3. Not a promo, but as part of the show, a mention by Alicia Florrick, The Good Wife, that she misses the days when every day she drank a glass of wine at 3 o'clock in the afternoon.

So here's my concern....

For the past 20 years, we have lost millions of loved ones, and it has cost us billions of dollars, to undo the harm that was done by the promotion of cigarettes back in the 1950s and 1960s, even up until today. People started smoking because it was "cool" - all those stars on TV with their cigarettes convinced them that was true. And now they have either already died, or they suffer from lung cancer or emphysema. We know second hand smoke, and even third hand smoke are both killing people, too. It's costing not just lives, but it costs all of us to pay for the healthcare needed, too.

Most advertising of alcohol in the US is regulated. Now it seems the wine industry has figured out a way to get its products promoted by encouraging promotion during TV shows instead. In terms of its affect on the alcohol buying public, there is no difference between this kind of promotion - and commercials. Further, they've stretched the "acceptable" times of day to drink - why not just start drinking when you tune in to morning TV? It looks like so much FUN!

Have we learned nothing? We know alcoholism is a major health problem; that it costs lives and way too much money for all of us (not just the person who buys and drinks it.) Even "second hand drinking" is a problem when a drunk gets behind the wheel of a car and injures or kills someone.

Why is this kind of promotion being allowed? At least most beer commercials have some kind of disclaimer, but no such disclaimer - nothing to buffer the effect - is seen or heard by Kathy Lee and Hoda, The Good Wife or Cougar Town. Are kids watching these shows and thinking its cool to drink in the middle of the day, or any other time of day? How many frustrated parents, home with little children, are drinking in the middle of the day to smooth those edges (if you're a child of the 60s, you'll remember "Mother's Little Helper") - but get past the point where they can decide not to drink?

So that's my whine. What do you think? Have you noticed this promotion in other places? Are you willing to pay for the eventual loss of lives and cost of care?

Should we start by boycotting those shows? Because, after all, if you follow the money, that's really the only thing that counts.

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Agree? Disagree?
Share your experience or join the conversation!


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January 11, 2013 at 5:05 am
(1) gemdiamondintherough says:

I agree! Why do they have to be drinking while they are on the “job” anyway. In most jobs, this is NOT AN OPTION! In fact you could get fired!
I do not routinely turn the TV on in the AM, but the other day I did, and I could not believe they were “chugging down”. And over the holidays, children are home and may more likely be watching. What messages are we sending our children. Rather confusing ones I would say. Where again is our common sense????

April 11, 2013 at 5:21 pm
(2) Lisa Frederiksen - BreakingTheCycles.com says:

I so agree with you!!
I also thought it wonderful to see your mention of secondhand drinking. I’ve been researching, writing and speaking on secondhand drinking for several years, now, and have used Alcohol Awareness Month 2013 as an opportunity to share information and resources on “Screening for Alcohol Misuse and Secondhand Drinking” I thought I’d share the link in the event your readers would like more information about the very real impacts of a person’s drinking behaviors on others.

February 13, 2014 at 1:49 pm
(3) Don says:

I agree 100%. I also like a glass of wine with my dinner. I drink a glass and sometimes 2 with most dinners. But, here is the problem, it is addictive, it needs to put in the context of being responsible not as some lark to have a drink whenever you so feel. There has to be control on all fronts. I find myself constantly monitoring my intake just to make sure 1 doesn’t become 1 or 2 and then 2 and then 2 or 3. I take is seriously because i have witnessed friends road to ruin who started in the very same way I did as a high school rowdy drinking beer. The messages portrayed not only ignore the seriousness they almost belittle it. Alcoholism is nothing to be taken lightly, the other thing…do you think only mature adults are watching and learning from these shows, how many kids are sitting at the breakfast table while mom or dad has the TV on and Kathy Lee is knocking back a glass of wine at 8 AM.

February 16, 2014 at 5:02 pm
(4) diamondintherough says:

I agree! I thought that these types of scenarios were no longer to even be shown on certain daytime programing. You will not know if alcohol is an addiction for you, until you start drinking it!!!!!!!!! Same with some other things. So, do we want to portray this type of behavior, in such a light hearted manner. I believe we should guard our children, from such behavior. If adults choose this road, it is up to them. ( to some degree)
Remember that with each choice, we also have what is called responsibility that goes along with the choice. Sometimes we may get away without any problem, but more often than not, these types of choices will play havoc with you sooner or later.

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