Rich Lowry

A more legitimate complaint against beer ads would be that they are false advertising -- at least the ones that suggest that if you drink beer you will miraculously be surrounded by bikini-clad beauties, probably from Scandinavia. Experienced drinkers know that beer is much more likely to be associated with sitting on a recliner ... and watching beer ads during a college football game.

And some ads are indeed objectionable on the grounds of taste. But, given that taste was long ago abandoned on the airwaves, what would replace them? Viagra ads? Many parents would prefer explaining to their kids that beer is for adults rather than trying to explain what it means that Rafael Palmeiro -- the baseball star appearing in ubiquitous Viagra ads -- is afflicted with erectile dysfunction.

The agenda of the ad-banners isn't to save students so much as it is to try to put a crimp in the business of the breweries. George Hacker of the CSPI has said of college sports ads, darkly, "This is the clearest example of how the beer industry in particular targets a highly concentrated population of heavy drinkers." Horrors! Is the beer industry supposed to target nondrinkers? Should it instead saturate with ad broadcasts of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir?

If you prefer your Saturday college football game without beer ads, that's the beauty of the remote control. But if you enjoy the exuberance, the self-mockery, the inventiveness and the humor of beer ads, and instinctively scoff at the scolds who want to ban them, well then, this Bud's for you.


Rich Lowry

Rich Lowry is author of Legacy: Paying the Price for the Clinton Years .
 
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