Advertising Is Everywhere
It's true; advertising is everywhere and a person can't open his eyes or ears in the morning without being exposed to it in some form.
Morning, noon, and night, the food addict is faced with commercials that may trigger her desire to eat foods that will lead to a binge. Beer commercials are present with almost every sporting event. Movies, television, billboards, radio, Internet, newspapers, magazines, and shopping malls are all filled with advertisements. Advertising is an accepted way of life in American culture as a means of selling goods and services.
Even if particular addictive substances or behaviors are not directly advertised, people in commercials, advertisements, and public entertainment may be depicted using addictive substances and engaging in addictive behaviors in ways that appear very attractive. It is not hard to sell addictions. Just remember the pleasure pathway and the hedonic highway.
Addictions often feel good in the moment, and it can be challenging at times to remember the negative consequences that are inevitable down the road. Does this mean that earplugs and blinders should be part of one's daily wardrobe when leaving the house? No, but it does mean that awareness of the agenda of advertisers must be constantly present.
According to MedPage Today (August 2007), alcohol ads accounted for 43.9 percent of all magazine advertising in 2005. Alcohol advertising on television programs frequently watched by youth increased 41 percent between 2001 and 2005. These statistics clearly demonstrate the pervasive level of exposure to the public of at least one potentially addictive substance.