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Old 07-27-2002, 12:19 PM   #1
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Targeting children?

As my likely last post of the day, I would like to offer for discussion the following question: is Absolut Vodka targeting children?

Over the last few months, Absolut has used an online ad campaign with simple, but often enjoyable Flash games - particularly neat is one in which your number keys on your keyboard allow you to play different musical notes.

Camel was strongly criticized because of its "Joe Camel" campaign; opponents believed that the cigarette company was targeting children by using a cartoon (technically, a drawing, since the ads weren't animated; I believe tobacco ads on TV were banned long before Joe Camel).

I always found the argument to be a bit specious - that having a cartoon character necessarily meant you were targeting children. Since then, South Park and Cartoon Network's Adult Swim has debunked the theory; it's possible and profitable to make a cartoon targeted for people over age 18. Joe Camel is still nowhere to be found.

My three questions are these:

- Do you think that there's a case to be made here? That is, do you think the Absolut ads target children?

- Do you think some special interest group will notice this and take legal action?

- If they take this to court, would they win?
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Old 07-27-2002, 02:53 PM   #2
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I have never seen the ad that you are talking about- but Alchopops, there was a thing in the news recently about ppl complaining saying that these drinks were targeted at young ppl because the drinks were mostly sugar and because of the bright colourful labels on the packaging.

So im gonna answer your Q's anyway


- Do you think that there's a case to be made here? That is, do you think the Absolut ads target children?

Well ppl who are allowed to drink are 18 and they are still fairly young- im 17 and love playing wee games like that online im sure an 18 year old would too cus there isnt that much difference between a 17 and a half year old and an 18 y.o. so they could be targeted at young adults so i dont think there is a case to be made here

- Do you think some special interest group will notice this and take legal action?

Yes probably

- If they take this to court, would they win?

Most likely not...
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Old 07-27-2002, 03:15 PM   #3
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Don't kid yourself (pun unintended) about South Park. Kids watch that show and like it.

If you think these companies aren't doing it on purpose, you are very naive.
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Old 07-27-2002, 04:19 PM   #4
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Well, the only places I've seen those ads are on sites like The Onion... and you've gotta be at least 16-17 to even understand The Onion enough to find it funny.
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Old 07-27-2002, 07:41 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by martha
Don't kid yourself (pun unintended) about South Park. Kids watch that show and like it.

If you think these companies aren't doing it on purpose, you are very naive.
Here's the question though: if the producers of South Park intentionally targeted college kids (and they just might), would you be able to tell?

I really don't think so. You simply can't use the facts that, say, kids watch South Park and that South Park is a cartoon to PROVE that kids are who they're targeting.
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Old 07-27-2002, 08:43 PM   #6
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The same then goes for your argument that South Park somehow "proves" that Joe Camel wasn't aimed at children.

I thought that your statement about South Park not being intended for children "debunking" the theory of Joe Camel's intended audience not being kids was rather facile. South Park's animators had a different motive than Joe Camel's sponsors. And you know it.
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Old 07-27-2002, 09:14 PM   #7
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No, it just debunks the argument that Joe Camel was a cartoon character NECESSARILY meant that it was targeted at kids.

You simply cannot logically see a cartoon character and go, "A-ha! TARGETED for children!" South Park and Adult Swim, I believe, demonstrate that.
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Old 07-27-2002, 10:36 PM   #8
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Ok, I see your point. But don't be so trusting of cigarette companies. I do think that Joe Camel was aimed at children, and I think that much of the court-ordered anti-smoking advertising these companies do is specifically designed to make cigarette smoking look like an adult activity. In fact, one of the ads actually called it that before it was yanked off the air. I'm getting off your original topic here, so we can let this part go if you like.
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Old 07-28-2002, 10:00 PM   #9
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read this post and get a sugary treat

you know what, this whole thing is bullshit. we wonder why our kids grow up to be idiots, well, this is why.

yes, let us create a cave for them to live in until they are 18 when we will shove them out onto the world and say "hey, that digit means you are ok'd to see this!"

we need to stop relying on the government to be out parents. i understand that not all parents are there 100% of the time, but i can't tell you how sick i am of having the federal government telling me what i can and cannot should and should not do simply because i am 18 years old. there really was 0 change in me when i turned 18 (with the exception that i learned how to make damn sure i don't get caught doing anything illegal).

[/rant]

-Do you think that there's a case to be made here? That is, do you think the Absolut ads target children?

No, absolutely not, we need to start taking responsibility for our children again as parents and caregivers. if your chikd is rather young and is surfing the internet by themselves, perhaps that's a parental issue rather than an absolut issue.

and martha, i realize that companies like absolute market to kids, but if there was frank communication about drinking between kids and parents, we wouldn't have to worry.

- Do you think some special interest group will notice this and take legal action?

no fucking doubt.

- If they take this to court, would they win?

it's in the air...the evidence is purely circumstantial.




this post is not to defend the action of marketing to young people. everyone knows that they are the ones with the free money to spend. but i'm just saying, we can't make the world idiot proof lest we run amuck with idiots.
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Old 07-28-2002, 10:52 PM   #10
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Lilly, you're right. My point was that these companies do market to children and that parents need to know this, as well as those who aren't parents. I personally think there should be some regulation of this because as a teacher, I see many parents who refuse to do their jobs, or who are completely incapable of doing their jobs. The effective parents don't have to worry that much about it because they have effective communication with their kids, and they pay attention to what their kids watch and do.


I thought Bubba was too willing to let these companies off the hook.
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Old 07-28-2002, 11:51 PM   #11
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idiots piss me off really.

we just need some serious social-darwinism to come back. some people just shouldn't be parents.
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Old 07-29-2002, 02:18 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by martha
Lilly, you're right. My point was that these companies do market to children and that parents need to know this, as well as those who aren't parents. I personally think there should be some regulation of this because as a teacher, I see many parents who refuse to do their jobs, or who are completely incapable of doing their jobs. The effective parents don't have to worry that much about it because they have effective communication with their kids, and they pay attention to what their kids watch and do.


I thought Bubba was too willing to let these companies off the hook.
I didn't mean to come off that way.

I'm just saying, logically, an ad involving cartoons or a cute Flash game (in this case) does not necessarily lead to the conclusion that kids were targeted.

It's a logical fallacy. Let's say A implies B. If you have evidence of B, that doesn't PROVE the existence of A.

In a more concrete example, say that if it rains, the grass gets wet. Wet grass doesn't PROVE that it rained: it could be early morning dew or the result of the next-door neighbor's sprinkler.

In this case, a company that's targeting kids would like use a cartoon. But the cartoon by itself doesn't PROVE they were targeting minors: they could have been targeting adults who were in their very late teens or early twenties.

There may have been other evidence to demonstrate the tobacco company's attempts to market to kids - internal memos, etc. - but I'm just saying the cartoon character alone is not enough.
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Old 07-29-2002, 06:54 AM   #13
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If they are, I think it's a really good thing. I occasionally babysit for friends of mine, and nothing ensures a quiet night in front of the telly like dipping the little 'uns dummy in port before tucking her in. Like my old pappy (who taught me this trick) always used to say, "Drunk children are easy children".

P.S.: Bailey's is great too, and for older children I recommend Smirnoff Ice - it tastes just like lemonade, they won't know what hit them!
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Old 07-29-2002, 08:15 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by Klodomir


P.S.: Bailey's is great too, and for older children I recommend Smirnoff Ice - it tastes just like lemonade, they won't know what hit them!

LMFAO are you being SERIOUS!?!?!?!

In my experience as Lilly said about all that government business-its rubbish- if i asked my mum could i taste some alcohol she'd let me taste it- my friends have really strict parents and they always feel they have to get drunk and make some sort of statement- b/cus i would b allowed to drink if i ever wanted to-but i HATE alcohol- i dont like it at ALL- i dont feel the need to go out drinking like all my friends.

There is no way of proving whether or not these companies are targeting young people anyway
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Old 07-29-2002, 08:20 AM   #15
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Absolut is a premium vodka.
Children cannot afford $40 for a bottle of alcohol they could get for almost half that price in Karloff or another standard price category spirit.
Millions of dollars are spent every year in marketing and advertising for large companies. This type of product is really aimed at the 24-35 year old age bracket.
Any drawing and any funky flash game will appeal to a child. I dont believe the argument to the contrary is without foundation, but I really dont see a product such as this being marketed toward children. It is not viable in any way to the company when you consider the difficulty the average under age person has in obtaining alcohol. Sure some kids can get it, but the numbers surely would not be enough for Absolut to wish to create a niche market.
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