"Some Days are Better than Others": Beer Commercials and a Question of Ethics

Document Type




Format of Original

28 p.

Publication Date



Emerald (JAI Press)

Source Publication

Research in Marketing

Source ISSN



This research addresses the ethical question of whether beer ads contain elements that directly tap into the psychological profile of recovering alcoholics- a special market whose needs have not been addressed by advertisers. The study explores two alternative ethical stances on the issue of alcohol advertising, and it examines the content of beer advertising for elements associated with problematic modes of experience previously identified for people in treatment for alcohol addiction: difficulties with relationships, a disrupted sense of time, an inability to express intense emotions, and a lack of self-efficacy.

Beer ads contained appeals to all of these elements - a finding that suggests the persuasive strategy may be particularly compelling to alcoholics. Consequently, further research is needed to investigate the impact of these commercials on alcoholics in order to provide guidelines for advertisers.


Research in Marketing, Vol. 15 (1999): 175-202. Publisher link.