Problem

Excessive portrayal of substance abuse in the media

Other Names:
Glorification of drugs, alcohol and tobacco in the media
Irresponsible advertising for addictive substances
Widespread promotion of alcoholic beverages and cigarettes
Indiscriminate liquor advertising
Portrayal of substance abuse as fashionable
Positive image of illegal substances in the media
Heroin chic
Glamourization of drug abuse
Drug pushing fashion photography
Nature:
Advertising seeks to promote a wider acceptance and use of alcoholic beverages and tobacco; it therefore never mentions the hazards associated with their consumption. Illegal drugs are also promoted by the media, albeit indirectly: the fashion industry refers to a particular style of model as "heroin chic", promoting a fashionable and therefore acceptable image of heroin abuse.

Advertising for addictive substances is found in all forms of mass media: printed in magazines, newspapers, and journals; heard live on the radio; viewed on television. It is not uncommon to find covert advertising - the mention of a brand name, for instance - in non-commercial articles or programmes. Such advertising is indiscriminate and widespread. Minors may be forbidden by law to purchase alcohol or tobacco, but they are constantly confronted with advertising promoting its use. Communities that want to limit substance abuse cannot close their borders to the media and its positive image of addictive substances.

Claim:
Advertisements of alcoholic beverages or tobacco follow the rules of good advertising: they are not bound by the truth but by what will sell the products. The products are therefore presented as being beneficial and attractive, while the dangers of consumption are never shown. The advertising industry not only condones the use of addictive and even illegal substances, but projects its degraded standards onto the rest of the world.
Problem Type:
E: Emanations of other problems
Date of last update
05.04.2000 – 00:00 CEST