Alcohol in the Media – Boozing Theatres and Advertising to Kids

Welcome to our movie theatre – Would you like a beer or glass of wine for tonight’s show?

Moviegoers in British Columbia can now enjoy a drink while watching their favourite flick.  What I find interesting is the different path being taken on two different products that negatively affect our health: tobacco and alcohol.  While tobacco laws across the country continue to get tougher, limiting the places you can smoke, alcohol laws seem to be moving in the opposite direction.  We’ve already seen relaxed festival drinking rules in Ontario, allowing people to drink outside of the tents.  Are movie theatres next?  Do we really need more places and opportunity to drink?  Or should we be questioning the direction of these laws and thinking about who might be lobbying for them?

New tools shows extent of youth exposure to alcohol advertising on the radio in 2009

This is probably the coolest thing I’ve read this week related to alcohol.  The Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth (CAMY) recently released a shiny new online tool that allows the user to see how youth were exposed to alcohol advertising via the radio in 2009.  You can pick from 75 different radio markets across the United States, and then choose whether to single out a specific beverage type (like alcopop or beer) or look at total advertising of all alcohol products.  Check out the tool for yourself and see what you think.  Wouldn’t it be great to have this kind of data here in Canada?

4 thoughts on “Alcohol in the Media – Boozing Theatres and Advertising to Kids”

  1. Thanks for the reply James. In theory, I’d agree – if there were less bars, clubs, stores and restaurants selling alcohol throughout our communities, being able to enjoy a drink at the movies doesn’t sound too bad. A limit on the number of licensed premises in a community is a great idea. Unfortunately, the reality is that allowing businesses (which traditionally have not sold alcohol to patrons) to begin serving alcohol simply increases its availability and access within our communities. In Ontario, there are no real limitations on the number of establishments which sell alcohol.

    1. In Scotland they have public health as a licesning objective, trying to limit this sort of thing. England are toying with the same idea it seems… Supermarkets now sell huge amounts of alcohol so it is off-premise /home drinking that’s really increased consumption it seems

      1. That’s great to hear James – would love to see something similar across the pond. We don’t have beer or liquor sold in supermarkets in Ontario, but they now sell quite a lot of wine – very heavily promoted – and our convenience stores are always pushing government to be allowed to sell wine, if not other alcohol, as well.

  2. While I don’t doubt that the over-availabilty (and affordaibity) of alcohol contributes to levels of misuse, I’m not sure that making alcohol available at theatres/cinmeas is a bad thing per se. In the UK there was recently a failed ambition to turn boozey town centres into more mixed economies. If overall, licensed premises were kept at a same level, it would be better if more of them offered other activites.

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