View Full Version : Illinois Politicians Avert Alcopop Threat

06-19-2007, 21:03
Five months ago, there was a story in the Chicago media about a local anti-alcohol group that was accusing beverage makers of targeting youth-oriented media with ads for so-called "alcopops" such as Bacardi Silver, Smirnoff Ice, and Mike's Hard Lemonade. Of course, this group was demanding government action and my State Senator, Carol Ronen, (http://www.carolronen.net/) was carrying their water.

I called this "Lying for a Worthy Cause." (http://cowdery.home.netcom.com/blog.html#1-25-07) I wrote about it on my blog, but I also put more-or-less the same sentiments into letters to both the director of the complaining organization, and Senator Ronen. I emailed Senator Ronen and USPS-mailed Mr. Sandusky, the director of the anti-alcohol group. In all versions I called Mr. Sandusky a liar. I was deliberately provocative because I find that sort of dishonest political grandstanding offensive and because I wanted a reaction. I think my overall tone was reasonable, but decide for yourself. It's all right here. (http://cowdery.home.netcom.com/blog.html#1-25-07)

When you call someone a liar, you need to be prepared for anything and I was. The one response I didn't expect was ... none. One typically expects at least a non-committal form letter from one's own representative, but there was nothing. I haven't otherwise corresponded with Senator Ronen, that I can recall. I know she captured my email address, because now I get her email newsletter.

As sponsored by Ronen and several other legislators, Illinois Senate Bill 1625 (http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/BillStatus.asp?DocNum=1625&GAID=9&DocTypeID=SB&LegId=29771&SessionID=51&GA=95) prohibits Alcopop sponsorship of athletic events where the intended audience is primarily youth and bans billboard advertising of Alcopops within 500 feet of schools, public parks, amusement parks, and places of worship. It passed both houses of the Illinois General Assembly yesterday.

I haven't seen anything in the media about it since January and haven't seen anything yet about its passage.

The law as it ultimately passed is fairly innocuous, but it will inconvenience the beverage makers and its benefits to the public, especially "the children," are dubious.

Meanwhile, the state's largest public transportation systems are in crises, the state isn't meeting its obligations in pension, health care, and education funding, the governor and the legislature are barely speaking to each other, and Illinois government is its usual corrupt mire. But at least the kids will have to walk 500 feet from the playground before being subjected to a billboard for Mike's.

We get the government we deserve.

06-20-2007, 02:23
Gee, that's too bad, but the laws should mean that the Transit System is not subject to those rules, so maybe the system will benefit from increased advertising revenue onboard...not sure if the increase will outweigh the costs of enforcement though...the most expensive part of damn near any law is enforcement

06-20-2007, 06:01
There are a few ways to look at this Chuck. They tried this with cigarettes, and I don't think it really worked as well as people would like. If they take this as far as they did with smoking, then there will be no alcohol ads anywhere.
Politicians know that when they say, "We are doing this for your children" they will get votes. I say if you don't like it move to Naperville(no offense to people in Naperville, its a nice town, just not for me). At first I thought, this is the 3rd largest city in the US, how are they going to find places that are not 500 feet from any of these things, but then I thought, that Chicago is so zoned that there are not may schools and churches in major shopping areas.

Hey I'm with you Chuck, we have the doomsday CTA thing going. There are so many other problems in this state and city and they are worrying about this. Education is the key to cut down on under aged drinking, that and providing a place for young people to go and hang out.(No one has seemed to figure this one out since the dawn of time) Kids now say the same thing that I did when I was a kid, and probably when you were a kid..."There is nothing to do around here." Whoever figures this one out, will do more to cut down under age drinking, then removing some ad ever will.

I think that people might see the error of their ways when they see revenue drop in there districts.

06-22-2007, 05:17
Politicians who call for further restrictions on consumer products and their advertisers are generally the ones who view people as too dumb to make their own decisions, raise their own children (as they see fit), own potentially dangerous implements etc.

It's not hard to see why this would be the case. Politics is an attractive profession for those among us who wish to "change the world" to fit their vision of utopia. And when their vision of utopia doesn't manifest itself through the accumulated free will choices of "the people" then it becomes necessary for them to step in and force a change legislatively. Consequently, most politicians , and bureaucrats for that mater, are more interested in "social engineering" than balancing budgets or fixing roads.

Alcohol is a hot button issue. Back in the mid 80's Spuds MacKenzie was going to lead America's youth down the path of self destruction if do-gooders and nanny-state politicians didn't do something. A cute dog, a humorous effective add campaign, that's what made it a target for people ALREADY looking for one. Alcopops are popular, hence they are a target. It's no more complicated than that.

Incidentally, I was a teenager in the 80's. No matter how cute or funny Budweiser's advertising it didn't make me want to drink their product, or any beer for that mater. Nor did Joe Camel entice me to smoke. Ick, I would never put a cigarette in my mouth. People, even youngsters, are not automatons.

If any legislation regarding alcopops needs to be adressed it's truth in advertising/labeling. These beverages contain no rum, whiskey or vodka.

06-22-2007, 17:22
In Ohio, I think alcohol sales are prohibited within 1000 ft. of a school or place of worship, at least thats the case in the town I live in. Sunday sales have typically been banned or at least pushed back until after 1PM mainly due to church groups complaining. The ironic thing is, you can go to our local Walmart or grocery store and buy beer,wine or wannabe 42 proof liqour in an row sandwiched between the soda pop and breakfast cereal. I haven't met a parent yet that made their kid stand at the endcap and wait while they ventured down the rowto get the beer. As far as the no sunday sales rule, I don't remember it applying to Wed. night when many of these same religious organizations have mid week services. The best example of this nonsense I ever witnessed was one Sunday at church. A new member to the church was some sort of drug and alcohol counselor and decided to get up and give a talk about the "evils" of alcohol and drinking. After church, I spotted this individual along with their spouse at the local TGIFridays eating lunch. As they passed my table on the way out, I asked this individual how it felt to subsidize her local bar after condemning alcohol in church. From day one, this person showed up at our church in basically a "for show" capacity. Since that Sunday, she hasn't gone before our church to blab her agenda. If there is on thing on this earth that is truely a joke, it has to be religious hypocracy!


06-22-2007, 18:02
Also in the "think of the children" department to the point of idiocy: here in Illinois, even though beer, wine, and distilled spirits may all be sold at supermarkets, an underaged clerk is not allowed to even ring them up - the clerk has to call over a 21+ supervisor or clerk to drag them over the scanner! :smiley_acbt: