Accountability: Never Slows You Down

Everything in and around Chicago looked like this today, including my head.  There are few things I love more than anthropomorphic hot dogs squirting mustard on themselves, not to mention donuts, but today I just wanted to get home and in out of the rain.  The rain, having outsmarted me, was rising in abundance to greet me from my basement floor.  It seems these days I am one with the wet-vac.

Speaking of things that are all wet, somewhere in the vicinity of 79th & Kezdie we passed a Bud Light billboard with the slogan Drinkability–It Never Slows You Down.  I wish I’d been able to get a picture of that one, but it took me completely by surprise and I cannot find an example online   I don’t talk about it very much, but at one time I was an IAODAPCA-certified alcohol and drug abuse counselor.  I am sure I’ve forgotten most of what I ever learned, but I do remember that alcohol is a central nervous system (CNS) depressant.  The nature of a CNS depressant is that it slows you down.  The nature of a light beer is that you would probably have to drink more of it to slow you down, but eventually it will.  The nature of this ad is that it employs a false claim for a particular product in hopes of encouraging people to drink more and expect fewer consequences.

I find it kind of interesting that I saw this billboard in a working-class neighborhood, near Marquette Park.  More interesting still, despite the plethora of advertising on the Web, I was unable to find an intact version of this ad online so I could show it to you.  For now, the best I can do is to post this altered version, posted by design firm AS|D Labs (link is to their blog).  I’m not even sure the art is exactly the same as the billboard I saw, but the slogan on this one was the same before it was altered:

It Gets You Every Time

Click on image to see larger version

Funny thing, it appears Coors Light was forced by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms to withdraw a similar campaign with the slogan “It Won’t Slow You Down,” all the way back in 1991.  At the time, Deputy Director Daniel Black called the slogan “false and misleading.”  If anything, the new slogan is even more definite and hence more misleading in its claims, and either Budweiser’s legal people didn’t do a very good job of researching it or they just thought they could get away with it in certain markets.  I will try to get a shot of this billboard on a day when it isn’t pouring rain, but in the meantime do feel free to share your own if you can find one.  I’m no teetotaler by any means, but I do hate to see people being had.

Perhaps I’m making too much of the fact that I can’t find this ad on the Web, or perhaps mine is a justifiable paranoia given the evidence at hand.  Whichever and whatever and to whomever, there is no excuse for lying to sell beer.  I don’t care what it says in the fine print, because you and I both know drivers will have just enough time to register the oxymoronic phrase that tells them what they want to believe.  Keep an eye out for this billboard or other evidence of this campaign and let me know where you find it, as I am quite curious as to just who is expected to believe it.  Bud Light, shame on you.

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