As I mentioned not too long ago, movies are big business, and advertising in movies – also big business. On one hand, you have Heineken paying a reported $45-million to get their beer into the latest Bond flick, Skyfall. On the other hand, you have Budweiser and Stolichnaya trying to get their beer and vodka out of the latest Denzel Washington movie, Flight.
By paying to get their product in Skyfall, Heineken is betting that the “cool” factor of Bond drinking their beer will increase sales. In Flight, Budweiser and Stolichnaya did not pay to have their products in a movie about a pilot with a significant drinking and drug use problem. But the fact is these are products that are consumed by millions of people, many of whom will drink above the low-risk guidelines and some who will have issues with alcohol abuse, misused and dependence.
All of this begs the question: Why is it okay to show alcohol brands in a positive light, but not a negative one? The simple answer, of course, is that these companies want everyone to forget that their products can and do cause serious health and social harm. Talk about taking a page right out of the tobacco industry playbook!