I can still see it. I am twelve years old looking at my mom lay in her hospital bed. They told me she had a hole in her esophagus, and not too long ago, had been dying of blood loss. I stand still too shocked to cry, and in my trance I hear the hum of the t.v. behind me. And I know that if I flip through the channels right now I’ll land on a commercial depicting false paradise. Toned, tanned, pretty people on a beach smiling like they were in Heaven as they swallow down the drink that put my mom and my family through hell.
I am a biased person. This tragedy that I have gone through has made me biased about all subjects relating alcohol. If I were to have one wish, it would be to expel the very idea of alcohol from our heads. But I can’t do that, just as I can’t let my opinions cloud my vision for the future of the families of America. In this simple vision, alcohol advertising is banned from television and radio.
Researchers found that an average of 29 percent of alcohol TV ads in Houston, Los Angeles, Dallas, Atlanta and Chicago don’t abide by voluntary standards set by the industry, which involve not being shown during t.v. shows where at most 30 percent of the audience are kids. One out of eleven radio ads for alcoholic beverages in 75 markets across the nation in 2009 failed to comply with the alcohol industry’s voluntary standard for the placement of advertising.
Alcohol advertisements aren’t the only type of ads that violate our industry’s standards. We see it all the time, when some sketchy commercial on t.v. has microscopic words at the bottom or a radio ad has the bad information sped up quicker than our ears can catch.
I believe that alcohol shouldn’t be prohibited, because I believe that people are born with the right to choose what they want to do with their life. But with that in mind, let’s let them choose! No more brainwashing commercials that promise a good time, let us decide what we need in order to have a good time.
Maybe then there wouldn’t be 30 percent of American adults and one in five teenagers living with alcoholism, 6.6 million children living with alcoholic parents and tens of thousands of alcohol induced car crashes. I believe that this will change. But I don’t just believe for those numbers I said. Thirty, five, one, 6.6 million--what do numbers mean? Nothing.
I believe for the kid who thinks drinking might solve her problems. For the other kid who wants heaven, but doesn’t want to get there too quickly. I believe for the little boy who has to take care of his siblings because his father is a drunk and his mother works hard. For the guilt ridden, God fearing man who can’t stop falling asleep with a bottle in his hand, I believe.
I believe that for the good of America, alcoholic ads can be, and should be banned. Because I never want my mom to have to sit me down again and say, “Bailey, I fell off the wagon” all because of our bandwagon, conspicuous consumer society. Because there are moms and dads here, wishing their kids were in paradise--playing volleyball, building sandcastles, and collecting sand dollars. Because approximately 100,000 people will die this year of alcohol related deaths, 4,700 of them, teenagers.
In the 1970’s, Cigarette advertisements were banned from our television sets and radios. The 70’s were considered the “me” generation. Hopefully, alcohol advertising will be banned as well in 2016, because we are the generation of activists. We are the “we” generation.
Speech for school