How many times have you come across holiday cards that encourage you to grab a drink or two? We’re guessing quite a few. But did you ever feel that had it not been for the greeting cards, you probably wouldn’t have got drunk or grabbed a drink even? “Maybe,” some would say. “That’s speculative,” others would say. But new research about greeting cards and their subtle/not-so-subtle message on alcohol consumption is trying to break any misconceptions or myths, if at all.
The study that was published in the Journal of BMJ, said birthday or holiday cards that featured alcohol and harmful effects of it (even if they’re said in jest) end up reinforcing a social acceptance to excess alcohol consumption and relate it with celebration. This has unintentionally led to undermining of messages broadcasted by the media about public health.“These cards influence views on drinking and reinforce this as a social norm,” said Tracey Polak, a researcher.
Alcohol remains a popular theme among the one billion greeting cards that are sold in the UK annually. Illustrations and texts portray it as enjoyable and fun and have phrases like ‘cheers’ and ‘let’s get wrecked’ are printed across illustrations of people who’re complete drunk. The study points out that over 10 million people in the UK are drinking at levels more than they should, making over-consumption of alcohol the leading cause of their ill health.
Due to this, the card market has adapted new themes, considering the impacts the other views have socially. They suspect that the truth lies in the middle. The card makers think there isn’t any connection between the two so. They may change what they produce if consumers chose not to buy cards depicting irresponsible drinking.