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Why are social media good for the alcohol industry - Essay Example

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Why are social media good for the alcohol industry

Not only do these media have a huge role in shaping social interactions between young people, they also play an important role in the development of advertising. Advertisers often see Facebook and Twitter as free advertising, because of the relatively low costs of setting up a Facebook 'page' or a Twitter account to spread the word about these products. Social media is also good for discussing new products, especially among youths, who may endorse or denounce these products publicly, having a massive impact on sales. Social media is often also used to discuss television, movies and music (Egan & Moreno, 2011), not only advertising these products but perhaps even endorsing the actions which go on in these media. The purpose of this essay is to discuss how these aspects of social media are good for the alcohol industry and how these things can affect alcohol use and abuse in the younger age groups because of their constant exposure to alcohol via social media sites. One of the most interesting things about social media is its use in discussions, often live, about television programs and other more traditional forms of media. For example, programs such as Gossip Girl or Jersey Shore often have a huge online following on blog sites, Twitter and Facebook, which focus on discussing the show and characters. Shows aimed at a youth market often have a focus on alcohol (Rideout et al, 2010) and the effects this has on the body and social relationships. Gossip Girl, for example, commonly shows underage teenagers being served drinks in exclusive cocktail bars or having outrageous house parties where alcohol is freely available (Reid, 2009). The characters often look like they are having a great deal of fun. This is a great endorsement for the alcohol industry, who are often focused on tapping into the youth market who have often have significant amounts of disposable income (Rideout et al, 2010). Not only do these forms of traditional media encourage drinking, the use of social media to reinforce these ideas can be seriously influential for the alcohol industry. Teenagers who may not have had exposure for alcohol before seeing these shows or hearing a recommendation to watch it from somewhere online may suddenly be more curious about the drug that causes the often imitable characters of these shows to have so much fun. Something else that is interesting about social media and alcohol is that the minimum age for signing up to most social networking sites is 13 (Rideout et al, 2010). This age is too young to drink in every country worldwide, and yet alcohol advertising is still prevalent on most social networking sites (Egan & Moreno, 2011). On something like Twitter, it would be impossible to ban all references or sideline advertising of alcoholic products. It has been recommended that social networking sites do not allow explicit advertising of alcoholic products, something that seems more important when you consider the fact that almost 50% of children in the UK aged 8-17 have a profile on a social networking site (Reid, 2009), a country which has the legal drinking age set at 18. Whilst there are no limitations on this kind of advertising (as there are on advertising cigarettes and alcohol via traditional media [Goodman, 2003]), it seems likely that social media will remain a good advertising source for the alcohol industry. A further interesting point about social media and alcohol consumption is that a reported 27% of 13-15 year olds have seen pictures of friends drunk on a social networking site such as Facebook (Egan & Moreno, 2011). This only goes to further the endorsement that these sites seem to give to alcoholic beverages. If the youth market sees that drinking is something that other young, ...Show more

Summary

One of the most pressing and interesting aspects of modern culture is the explosion of social media and how this effects people, particularly the youth generation who are the biggest users of social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter (Rideout et al, 2010)…
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Why are social media good for the alcohol industry essay example
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