The marketing guidance the alcohol industry really needs.


The alcohol industry needs some help.

Before I start, I want to clarify that I am not ‘against’ alcohol or drinking. I do not want to ban alcohol and understand that lots of adults enjoy it for various reasons.

I am against the dishonesty, manipulation, and let’s just call it what it is, blatant lying that is alcohol marketing: all perceived benefits and no cost.

Never is this more apparent in marketing aimed at women and mothers.

The whole ‘mommy needs wine’ movement needs to stop. NOW.

After this post went viral, I realized there is a distinct lack of advertising standards in the alcohol industry. So I have taken it upon myself, (you’re welcome) to offer some guidance to wine manufacturers who are targeting women.

Don’t co-opt feminism into your marketing.

This is a common practice dating back to the 1980s when consuming alcohol and being drunk was presented as equality. ‘Drinking like the boys’ was seen as feminism. It isn’t.

Women cannot drink the way men drink because their body composition is different. The consequences of drinking are different for men than women, and women are also judged differently. Connecting drinking to feminism does not serve women as the cost of drinking is high for them. Trying to persuade women to drink more alcohol is anti-feminist. I call BS.

Alcohol is not a parenting aid.

Mothers do not need a carcinogenic central nervous system depressant.

They need f**king help.

There is a long history of sedating mothers against the reality of their lives. Valium was marketed as ‘mothers little helper.’ Because if women were numb, they would complain less and won’t have the bandwidth to notice how short-changed they are. Mothers need affordable childcare; mothers need more support, a better work-life balance and community. And they also need some quality sleep which is something they won’t get if they drink.

If moms want to get together without their kids and partake in an adult beverage –  then go for it! That’s a more appropriate use of alcohol. But cut this crap that mothers need wine to parent. They don’t, and neither do their kids. The whole ‘mommy needs wine’ is a betrayal of women and children.

Stop marketing alcohol as an essential parenting aid.

Alcohol as a wellness product.

No, it isn’t. Clean wine, low carb wine, keto wine, low sugar wine, etc., is not healthy or healthier.

There is no such thing. This is not a thing that exists. You are making it up.

It targets women into believing they can still have alcohol and be healthy. Alcohol is not a wellness product. It is an alcoholic beverage that needs to be treated sensibly. The ‘bad stuff’ in wine is not the sugar, pesticides, additives or sulfates. It’s the ethanol. Duh!  It’s ethanol that is bad for you. It’s the same stuff you have been manically washing your hands with for the last two years!

Any marketing done in this way is misinformation. Any wellness expert who markets this kind of product does not understand wellness. It’s a blind spot a lot of people have.

I’m fixing it.

No need to thank me.

Conditioning your kids to drink when they become adults.

Targeting the next generation of consumers is a standard marketing practice. Alcohol marketing that also brings kids into the loop is particularly heinous. A children’s book about mommy’s wine habit is literally the worst thing I have ever seen.

Here’s the thing, if alcohol were invented today, it wouldn’t pass any of our regulations. It wouldn’t be legalized. It’s that bad for your health. It is by far, the worst drug on the market

(yes, it’s a drug).

The alcohol industry deliberately obscures all of this. Now,  many of us ingest things that are not great for our bodies (I love diet coke), that is our choice as adults, but do you want to condition your kids that ingesting this hazardous drug is normal? Think about it, why can’t we present not drinking as an option for our kids? Could we teach them that they don’t need an outside substance to have fun, relax, reward themselves, or cope with the day?

Let them make their own choice. Don’t condition them to think there isn’t one.


#1 Check your privilege

Let’s get to the most crucial point. The marketing tactics that day drinking for mothers, day drinking festivals for mothers, and cute pink bottles of playdate wine for mothers is steeped in revolting white privilege.

A few mothers groups have popped up recently who advocate day drinking with their little ones as a way of mothers getting together and connecting. I’m all for mothers getting together and connecting! But presenting day drinking or wine specifically for mothers is white privilege. Because let’s face it, if you had a group of black mothers in a wine bar with their little ones running around, do you not think a few eyebrows would be raised. Do you think a black woman could launch her own ‘mommy wine’ brand and be perceived as a ‘good mother’?

Black women and black mothers are judged very differently, and you and I both know that social services would be round quicker than you could say, ‘I’ll have a large one.’

For white women, ‘mommy needs wine’ is harmless fun; they deserve it; stop being so judgy etc. For black women, they would instantly be labeled bad mothers.

That’s the difference. That’s where privilege comes in. And when you look at your marketing through that lens, the dishonesty of the whole thing falls apart.

#2 I understand that if you are an alcohol producer, this will be tough to swallow. 

As you know, if you follow this guide, it will seriously eat into your profits. I guess today’s the day you decide what kind of person you want to be. But there is hope. Alcohol-free products are booming. More and more adults want a nice beverage that isn’t soda but with none of the effects of alcohol. There is alcohol-free wine, beer and liquor. They are delicious and don’t harm the consumer. You can legit call this ‘clean’ or healthy’. A great example of this is Katy Perry, a new mum, wants to have an alcoholic drink here and there but also wants a healthy grown up non-alcoholic drink for more balance. Be like Katy.  Exploit this market and I will cheer you all the way. 

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