Beer -- Bubbles, Fun but also Blood and Tears Beer

Photo: AFP
  • Lim Tola
  • June 1, 2019 3:30 AM

Friends, sexy girls, laughter…In beer commercials filling all television screens in the country, life is always wonderful!

Which goes without saying since they are meant to make people want to drink beer. 

You will not see in those commercials a drunken man beating his wife who reproaches him for wasting their household money on beer. 

You will never see a bunch of overexcited young people in a bar pestering a woman server who must keep on smiling not to be fired by her boss. 

You will never see the pain of the families of tourists who were recently killed on Sisowath Quay in a collision between a tuk-tuk and a big car driven by a drunk driver.

And you will never see the tears of a mother at a hospital visiting her son injured in a motorcycle accident while going home after a wedding where there was a great deal to drink.

All this is real life.

Of course, one cannot prohibit beer on the grounds that, when consumed without restraint, it affects health and may lead to family and social tragedies. 

And of course, one cannot prevent beer producers from making their businesses prosper by investing millions of dollars in advertising and promotional campaigns. 

But couldn’t we impose some restraint on their commercials that are filled with lies and target a young audience seduced by glitzy scenes?

Couldn’t we impose on them some moderation in their promotional campaigns that incite over-consumption through lotteries with staggering winnings?

Couldn’t we compel beer producers to fund prevention campaigns regarding over-consumption of alcohol?

Just as we should oblige companies of toxic junk food—which get rich by selling products over saturated with sugar and fat—to fund information campaigns on nutrition to prevent silent killers such as diabetes and hypertension, beer producers should be ordered by the authorities to contribute to public health campaigns.

As was stressed in prevention campaign conducted in a foreign country and from which one could take inspiration: One beer is fine, three beers means disaster.  

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