It took a while for me to work out what exactly it was that seemed ’off’ with one of the Alcohol Advisory Council‘s (ALAC) recent shock tactic telly adverts from the It’s not the drinking, it’s how we’re drinking series.
Every time I would catch the ad (where a woman -known as ‘Lisa’- gets drunk, dances embarassingly and is later abducted by a guy and – we are led to assume, raped by him), I would feel a combination of guilt for any previous drunken risks I have taken and repugnance for the distasteful last few seconds of the ad.
It took a couple of full viewings to realise that the advert illicits feelings of guilt and discomfort for me, not because that is the advert’s intention – hoping that I will now address any binge drinking issues I may have, but instead because the ad implies that I (and Lisa) bear the responsibility of any sexual assault that may occur on my person, just because I was drunk.
Well, that’s not right. No matter how drunk I get or how badly I dance, I don’t deserve to be raped. And nor does Lisa or, obviously, anyone. Aloha, here’s some radical news for you ALAC; the rapist bears the responsibility.
If you agree, please click here to sign the petition.
There has been a lot of discussion around this in the Kiwi blogosphere, my fave post about it is here. Some of the bloggers at The Hand Mirror have set up a petition requesting ALAC take the ad off the air. You can read the letters sent to ALAC and ASA (Advertising Standards Authority), and view their weak, standardised template replies. You can also join the Facebook group.
I think the advert would make more sense if shown from the perspective of the guy who drinks too much to comprehend he is being told “no”. Alcohol does change your cognitive abilities, binge drinking isn’t good for any of us, but being drunk and incapable of making good decisions does not mean an ’asking for it’ scenario.
I have sent an email to ALAC expressing my disgust and urge anyone who feels the same to add their name to the petition and email the link to the world. Save Lisa!! Sure, hopefully she gains control of her alcohol intake, but still, she doesn’t deserve the blame for her own rape.