Monday, 17 October 2016

Rorschach tests: Alcohol marketing edition

When Freud saw a picture of a cigar, he wasn't so sure it was a cigar. 

When some folks see a picture of cricket bats, well, we get this

Horiana Henderson thinks this poster - from NZ Cricket, with no alcohol industry branding on it, is somehow marketing alcohol to kids. 
I was disturbed by the poster intended for my eight year old because the message I received was that our national sports team and his sporting heroes, the Black Caps, were associated with alcohol.

The wood-grain of the bats, the elegantly wrapped handles, the striking composition, the colours as well as the lighting all gave off an impressive and sophisticated look.

The reasonable placement for such a poster would have been on his bedroom wall where he would pass it each night before he went to sleep and each morning when he woke up. No battery, electricity or charger required.

Are the Black Caps a vehicle to circumvent the Law Commission's regulations regarding alcohol marketing to children? 
So anything that is elegant, striking, impressive and sophisticated must be part of some big alcohol conspiracy.

Alcohol can often be elegant, striking, impressive and sophisticated, but not all elegant, striking, impressive and sophisticated things are alcohol-funded.

Last week, I presented at the Hospitality Association's annual conference in Auckland. I noted there that some folks, like Alcohol Healthwatch, seem determined to turn any stat into evidence of a crisis - even if the stat shows a big reduction in problems. I suppose this is another for that file.

Sportsfreak is on point:
We are truly living in the age of moral outrage becoming a lifestyle choice for some.

Moral outrage is one thing, like recording stuff behind a locked door, but moral outrage based on seeing strange stuff is something else...

Should badminton rackets have been used? (old-fashioned bottles of cognac)? Hockey sticks? Abstemious tennis rackets?

No. Given this is about cricket, then probably cricket bats are probably are the most appropriate. New Zealand Cricket has confirmed that the items in the poster were in fact cricket bats. They said that, in the end, and following due diligence, they felt that cricket bats were a good fit for what, after all, was a cricket promotion.

Calling sporting organisations for wrongdoing is a worthy pastime, but it really does help when there is based on a bit of reality.
I don't favour lifestyle regulation or lifestyle taxes. But I'll make an exception for the moral outrage lifestyle. That one does have substantial negative externalities that should be mitigated.

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