Sexist drunk driving ads

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I hope I caught your attention. Have you noticed a certain trend in the drinking and driving public service announcements recently? There are the federal ones, which I don’t find very effective. They’re kind of goofy – they feature a bunch of people getting pulled over and beer pours out of their cars. Then there are the state ones, sponsored Zero in Wisconsin, a program run by the State Department of Transportation. They really try to ingrain the consequences of drunk driving in your pysche. There are a couple that emphasize the aftermath of killing somebody while driving drunk (video: the blood will never wash off). But more recently they really drive home the hassle and humiliation that you’ll go through. You’ll be arrested, taken to jail, and you’ll have to call your wife to bail you out.

Yes, your wife. Why your wife? Because all the people portrayed, in all of the above ads, are men. White men. I understand the emphasis on the businessman look – no matter how much money you have and how respectable you look, you can get arrested for DUI. It’s trying to combat the “after work drinks” mentality that so many people operate on. It’s making the point that you don’t have to be shit-faced or have a previous criminal record to get arrested.

But what about the ladies? Long island iced teas have alcohol too.

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2 Responses to “Sexist drunk driving ads”

  1. Suchita S Says:

    Because ads target demographics. Look at the stats. http://www.stopimpaireddriving.org/PEAK/gender/WI.PDF

    The ad isn’t sexist. It may be less than all-encompassing, but calling it sexist is just trying to get my attention. Good job.

  2. Sam Clegg Says:

    Suchita…I strongly doubt you would say the same thing if, for example, anti-crack advertisements began to feature all black males. But both are equally inappropriate. Neglecting a quarter of the drunk-driving demographic in one’s commercial is, well, negligent if you’re trying to get a point across. Unless of course you don’t mind a little judicious stigmatization instead. And Mr. Sconz, the Long Island Iced Tea is a unisex drink, damnit.

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