December 12th, 2021 by Janet Boyle. From The Sunday Post

Women are specifically targeted with drink promotions in the run-up to Christmas in an advertising blitz alarming experts.

The advertising blitz consists of market champagne, fizzy wine and liqueurs to appeal women, with pink labels or bottles specifically designed to appeal women.

If you search online “Christmas gifts for her”, the search leads to major retailers showcasing drink-related presents.

Marks & Spencer, a major British multinational retailer specialized in selling clothing, home products and food products, adverts for gin; it is also the first item shown when the store’s site is searched for “gifts for women”

Alcohol Focus Scotland is now urging the Scottish government to take action on this specific alcohol marketing that targets women.

Professor Carol Emslie, lead at Glasgow Caledonian University’s Substance Use research group, said: “Christmas is seen by alcohol companies as an opportunity to market heavily to women, in both obvious and subtle ways.

She continues: “This is piggy-backing on events and seeing them an opportunity to get women to buy more alcohol. After years of objectifying and sexualising women in their advertising, the alcohol industry is now targeting women more directly, linking their products to women’s friendships, feminism and empowerment. However, women’s empowerment will always be secondary to increasing profits for these companies.”

“Cancer Research UK states that the risk of breast cancer increases even at very low levels of drinking and estimate that 8% of all breast cancer cases in the UK are due to alcohol.”. However, marketing drink to women works and few people are aware of the cancer-related risks; a dangerous combo.

Another expert, Julie Tinson, professor of marketing and retail at Stirling University said: “Some alcohol aimed at women now looks very like perfume bottles and other ornamental bottles designed not to be stuck in a cupboard but displayed at home where the temptation to drink is greater if it is in sight all the time. These pretty bottles are obviously targeted at women. There is a taste bias, too – sweet, fruit-flavoured drinks, which are aimed at women.”

Deputy chief executive Laura Mahon said: “We are asking the Scottish Government to look at ways to rein in the pinking of drink, do what is within their powers and keeping pressure on Westminster to make changes … The Scottish Government is undertaking a consultation for alcohol marketing in 2022. Targeting women has been a very deliberate strategy by alcohol companies. They moved from objectifying women to using them to market drink.”


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