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Don’t Leap on Budweiser Lizards, Just Enforce the Laws

The inevitable has happened. Fresh from having defeated tobacco’s Joe Camel as an advertising icon, the social nannies of our society are taking on the Budweiser beer lizard pitchmen, Frank and Louie [“Alcohol Activists Want to Cage Bud’s Lizards,” May 5].

In spite of any research which may show that such advertising causes children (and adults) to recognize these cartoon characters and whether tobacco companies or beer and liquor companies gear their advertising to minors, I would like to point out one fact that seems to have escaped the anti-advertising zealots and the media: There are laws against the sale of tobacco and alcohol products to minors.

No matter how enticing such advertising is to children, the fact remains that it is illegal to sell those products to children. Where is the enforcement of such laws? Instead, the advocacy groups condemn the advertising and seek to raise the cost of these legal products to legal consumers in the guise of “protecting our children.” Before taking such drastic steps, enforce the laws that already exist.

This whole scenario raises the specter of a society in which the only advertising will be that which is “safe” for children. Will the next targets be McDonald’s (and other fast-food outlets), pizza parlors, etc. because of the fat content of their food, or will it be the snack food industry (the Keebler elves), or some other area?

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JAMES A. BAUR

Green Valley Lake, Calif.

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First came Spuds MacKenzie, then the Budweiser frogs and now the lizard pitchmen, Frank and Louie. Shades of Joe Camel.

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But if Anheuser-Busch’s director of consumer awareness and education doesn’t think that their ubiquitous lizard ads have any effect on children or on underage drinking, then I have a bridge to sell him.

Can it be that Big Beer, like Big Tobacco, needs a replacement supply of new drinkers/users to replace those lost in various beer-related causes of death and injury?

RAY CHAVIRA

Board member

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Latino Council

on Alcohol and Tobacco

Palmdale


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