Do We Drink More Because Of Ads Or Because We're Alcoholics?

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Ten years ago, Ohio liquor marketers decided to stop playing by self-imposed Footloosian rules and start advertising hard alcohol on TV. At the same time, the state loosened regulations, allowing alcohol to be sold in grocery stores.

According to a Beacon Journal article, Ohioans drink 25% more now than they did before these two access-to-alcohol changes took place. So, who's fault is it? Advertisers, of course, say: Not us - we're just doing our job. (Which, correct me if I'm wrong, is to get people to want and buy alcohol, no?)

Rae Ann Estep, superintendent of the Ohio Division of Liquor Control, which oversees state liquor sales, told the Beacon Journal "'Absolutely, it's had an effect,' she said of the liquor industry's advertising effort. 'I think if you look at what the suppliers and manufacturers have started to do that last five or six years, with more ads on TV than in the past, it is certainly adding to consumption.'"

Fortunately, Ohio's alcohol consumption is in step with the nation's - meaning they are no more alcoholic than the rest of us. Personally, I'd blame it on all the political shindigs and stumping parties; they've got to account for at least the 25% increase, if not more.
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