Friday, May 28, 2010

Worst Ad Campaign Ever (unless you are Tom)

I really do not get what the Italians are thinking. 


They have recently launched a  new campaign that shows a fetus in a curled up position in the bottom of the glass, beneath ice cubes and a slice of orange (a drink called a Spritz).  The simple message says - "When Mum drinks, baby drinks too" ("Mama beve, bimbo beve" in Italian).

I understand that women shouldn’t drink while pregnant.  But I also understand that they shouldn’t smoke, yet it is the right of the woman to decide.

To throw this kind of propaganda on the sides of buses, on billboards and in print ads is kinda tasteless and I doubt it will have much impact.

I also love these numbers from the Institute of Pulling Stats out of Your Ass:

  • 65 per cent of women in Italy consume alcohol during their pregnancy
  • Veneto, which includes Venice, has Italy's second highest rate of alcohol consumption, with around 67 per cent of women saying they drink regularly.
  • In Europe as a whole, one baby in every hundred runs the risk of health problems as a result of its mother drinking during pregnancy, according to the European Alcohol Policy Alliance.
  • Up to 79 per cent of women in the UK drink while pregnant.

I’ll never know how our generation survived as long we have.  I know for a fact that both of my parents drank like fish and chainsmoked.  Throw in Lawn-jarts, lead/tin soldiers, sugar soda and all the other dangers….we must be luckiest to exist.

Original Story


  1. I am so pleased that you won the lottery when your mum drank when pregnant with you because many are not so lucky. Thousands of people are affected by the disability known as Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder caused by maternal alcohol consumption in pregnancy. It it the leading cause of preventable learning disability and is more prevalent than autism. Families around the world are trying to raise these very complex children and every day is a struggle. The permanent organic brain damage (FASD) is for life and can happen before a woman even knows she is pregnant, so even if she stops drinking, the harm can have already happened. It is a lottery depending on the drink, the volume, the timing, the maternal nutritional health of the mother etc. A baby does not have a fully functioning liver and alcohol passes straight through to the baby. Alcohol is a known teratogen (so was thalidomide which was withdrawn from the market due to the birth defects that it caused). We would not give a newborn a 3 unit glass of wine but that is what is happening to the unborn when women consume alcohol. You may not like the ad campaign, but please do not dismiss the disability. It has been known about medically for 40 years but has been evidenced in writing over hundreds of years. A few generations ago people talked about gin being 'mothers ruin' and babies being 'gin babies'. Huge numbers of research studies take place every year to begin to see how FASD can be prevented. The only safe message is No alcohol = No risk when pregnant or planning a pregnancy. Please don't belittle the dangers as your unscientific opinion may cause someone to drink in pregnancy and cause harm to their unborn child. I don't expect that you would want that on your conscience. I am a foster carer of a child with FASD and I can reassure you that this disability is very real.

  2. Dear Anonymous - I am glad your extensive experience with FASD has come to light. I will point out that we spell it Fetal in the US, but since you are in the UK, I give you a pass.

    I too am pleased to have "Won the Lottery" - and We (my Wife and I) as a family chose not to consume alcohol during her pregnancy. The key word here is choice. We make our choices - and others make theirs. It is not the place of the Government to take side in one area, but ignore another.


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