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article imageAds for anti-drinking increases alcohol use according to study

By KJ Mullins     Feb 25, 2010 in Health
Public service campaigns that use guilt and shame are not effective when it comes to alcohol abuse according to a study from Indiana University Kelley School of Business.
The study found that ads that try to use shame or guilt as a tactic to discourage alcohol abuse has the opposite effect. The ads trigger a coping mechanism causing viewers to distance themselves from the consequences that the ads portray.
Alcohol abuse is a growing problem. Public health has long worked on ad campaigns to warn the public on the effects of alcohol abuse. Often the campaigns feature blackouts or car accidents. For viewers who have already experienced those things the ads appear to be too much to process and have a "that only happens to other people" effect.
Adam Duhachek, a marketing professor and co-author of the study, suggests that future ads provide ways to deal with the problems instead of using shame and guilt.
"If you're going to communicate a frightening scenario, temper it with the idea that it's avoidable," he said in a Medical News Today article. "It's best to use the carrot along with the stick."
More about Anti-drinking campaigns, Shame, Alcohol Abuse
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