To the editor:
There’s no doubt that the New England Patriots’ 10th Super Bowl game on Sunday will be one for the books. Each championship game they’ve played in the last 17 years has come down to a nail-biting margin of six points or less.
As expected, this level of entertainment attracts millions of viewers for the football and the commercials. In fact, according to Statista, the average TV viewership of the Patriots’ last three Super Bowls (2012, 2015, and 2017) was 112.3 million viewers.
This is a monumental stage and responsibility for advertisers, who don’t seem to account for young viewers of the commercials. The excessive number of advertisements for alcohol products during the Super Bowl may send mixed messages to underage youth. The content oftentimes shows risky decisions, poor behavior-modeling, and idolization of alcohol.
Playing sports is one of many factors that can prevent youth from making high-risk drug and alcohol choices, but in between Brady’s plays, if they are bombarded with ads about Bud Light and Malibu rum, they may begin to regard underage drinking as normal, when we know that four out of five Lincoln County teens actually don’t drink alcohol (Maine Integrated Youth Health Survey, 2017).
As a parent or caring adult, you have a direct influence on young people’s decision-making skills. Use the Super Bowl as a time to spend quality time together as a family, and an opportunity to talk with your child about not drinking. Remind them you care about their well-being, and you’re there to offer support.
Emily Bauer, Damariscotta
Project Coordinator, Healthy Lincoln County