Welcome to Activist Corner!

Wine is increasingly and relentlessly marketed to women – we are led to believe that in order to have a full and happy life we must drink plenty of wine. Wine is needed to relax at the end of the day, wine is a reward when the kids are in bed, wine is there for professional networking and of course “moms need wine”.

We need wine when we cook, when we have lunch with our girlfriends – and of course when we are dating. Wine is present at every social event – from christenings to funerals – and pretty much everything in between.Wine is the social lubricant of choice – wine is the gasoline of fun.

Well most of us at WorldWithoutWine bought into these ideas – and it was fun – until it wasn’t – until that nightly glass turned into a bottle and we never got through a day without drinking alcohol.Now that we are sober (and free) we see this marketing through a different lens – we can see it for the cold, calculating brainwashing that it is. We know that the liquor industry spends more on advertising than any other industry – and that is because they know it works and that their massive profits will continue to rise.

We know that drinking more than a bottle and a half of wine a week is putting a woman’s health at risk and that the evidence linking alcohol to breast cancer is stacking up on a daily basis. We know that alcohol is “stealthy” and many women get addicted – slowly but surely. We know that alcohol is linked to 7 different types of cancer.

That’s why we are planning to call out any advertisements or articles that we feel are inappropriate and/or inaccurate – we will write to the advertisers and publish their responses here in Activists Corner

With 6,000 FB followers and 3,000 Tribe Sober members we know we can make a difference!

««»»

 

Letter to the Editor of Women’s Health Magazine SA  – 07/11/2019

The Editor

Women’s Health Magazine

Dear Madam

It pains me that once again your publication is peddling “health” advice funded and promoted by the alcohol industry.

These 4 Low-Calorie Cocktails Are Perfect If You’re Watching Your Weight This Summer

https://www.womenshealthsa.co.za/recipes/4-low-calorie-cocktails-for-summer/)

Your article, published on your website 7 November 2019 refers.

Women’s Health SA is a top selling magazine in stores countrywide as well as having a prominent online presence in the form of a website (womenshealthsa.co.za) and numerous social media platforms. In the “About Us” section of your website you promote yourselves as a “source of trusted information for South African women” with your target market being “women who are driven to live their best lives by looking good, exercising regularly, eating well and taking charge of their health and careers”. All in all, everything one would expect from a magazine bearing the title Women’s Health.

However, despite the intended focus on health, you too appear to have fallen prey to the pervasive, almost subliminal, messages which say that women and alcohol go hand-in-hand.

I wish to raise a number of issues about the article I refer to above.

  • ·         Declaring the health benefits of cocktail ingredients such as blueberries and citrus detracts from the underlying nature of the beverage which is that it is an alcoholic one. Including “healthy”, “low sugar” ingredients is not going to counteract the very real and harmful effects of the drink’s “star” component, alcohol. Ethanol to be precise.
  • ·         As players in the health arena, I am sure that you MUST be aware of the numerous studies and reports highlighting the growing occurrence of alcohol use disorder and the devastating effect of alcohol on health, communities and society. The recently released Global status report on alcohol and health: 2018 (World Health Organisation) is a very sobering read (forgive the pun) and one of the facts that stands out for me in particular is that worldwide a woman dies EVERY MINUTE as a result of alcohol related issues.
  • ·         The World Health Organisation lists ethanol in alcoholic beverages as a Group 1 substance; carcinogenic to humans. Not “probably carcinogenic” or “possibly carcinogenic”. It IS cancer-causing in humans (https://monographs.iarc.fr/list-of-classifications-volumes/)
  • ·         There is no “safe” level of alcohol consumption despite what alcohol industry funded “studies” suggest.
  • ·         There is no mention that alcohol is addictive and dependence-producing or that it has been positively linked to causing a number of cancers, some of which affect women, your readership, in greater proportions than men (like breast cancer).
  • ·         I think it is ethically questionable to provide links enabling consumers to access alcohol directly from a “health” website thereby implying your endorsement of the consumption of such products.

Running an article like this in a magazine such as yours implies that alcohol consumption is a normal part of a healthy lifestyle. It is not.

Running an article like this, in your position of power as a purveyor of health information, will be construed as health experts giving women permission to drink, if not actively encouraging it.

Right now a woman out there (plenty of them I assure you) who is struggling with her alcohol consumption and who is already bombarded by the messaging that “moms need wine” and a gazillion “funny” wine memes is reading this article and feeling like a complete loser because she can’t drink “normally”. She is questioning her decision to re-evaluate her relationship with alcohol because if a health magazine says it’s ok it must be ok, right? She is feeling more alone and confused than ever. As a magazine promoting women’s health, how does THAT make you feel?

I’m not a prohibitionist: everyone has the right to choose to drink or not. But we can all do a better job examining the stories we tell around alcohol, and learn more about the true impact of alcohol.

Alcohol almost killed me. It kills a lot of us because we are taught that alcohol is something we are supposed to ingest; alcohol companies and media uphold that narrative and play it back to us; and then we (and here I mean: you) take that message and run with it. We normalize it and make light of alcohol misuse and even addiction and glorify it.

ENOUGH. This has to stop.

I am not anti-drinking or anti-alcohol but I do take exception when alcohol is touted as being beneficial to one’s well-being and an integral part of a “healthy” lifestyle. If your magazine wishes to emphasise the potential health benefits of alcohol (in any form) then they should also, in the same article, mention the proven downsides of it in the interests of presenting a balanced opinion (which is what you are supposed to be doing, I would assume).

That probably isn’t a very sexy idea so probably best just to leave alcohol out of the health/wellness arena, né?

Yours in health,

Jennifer

Jennifer.Luiz@nullwol.co.za

+27 82 417 6159

 

««»»

Letter to the Editor of Women’s Health Magazine SA  – 28/09/2018

The Editor

Womens Health Magazine

 

Dear Madam

The Alcoholic Drink That’s Weight-Loss Friendly and Boosts Your Mood

Your article, published on your website on 26 September 2018 refers.

Women’s Health SA is a top selling magazine in stores countrywide as well as having a prominent online presence in the form of a website (womenshealthsa.co.za) and numerous social media platforms. In the “About Us” section of your website you promote yourselves as a “source of trusted information for South African women” with your target market being “women who are driven to live their best lives by looking good, exercising regularly, eating well and taking charge of their health and careers”. All in all, everything one would expect from a magazine bearing the title Women’s Health.

However, despite the intended focus on health, you too appear to have fallen prey to the pervasive, almost subliminal, messages which say that women and alcohol go hand-in-hand.

I wish to raise a number of issues about the article I refer to above.

  • The study was conducted on rats – I’m sorry, I though your magazine was about WOMEN’S health!
  • The study was completed in 2013. In the five years since the results of this study were published there have been numerous studies and reports highlighting the growing occurrence of alcohol use disorder and the devastating effect of alcohol on health, communities and society. The recently released Global status report on alcohol and health: 2018 (World Health Organisation) is a very sobering read (forgive the pun) and one of the facts that stands out for me in particular is that worldwide a woman dies EVERY MINUTE as a result of alcohol related issues.
  • There is no “safe” level of alcohol consumption despite what alcohol industry funded “studies” suggest.
  • There is no mention of the myriad other foods and beverages available which contain similar levels of phenols and which HAVE been proven to be beneficial to health and which do not have the negative effects of alcohol – no one ever got pulled over and arrested for driving under the influence of apples!
  • There is no mention that alcohol is addictive and dependence-producing or that it has been positively linked to causing a number of cancers, some of which affect women, your readership, in greater proportions than men (like breast cancer).
  • I think it is ethically questionable to have articles sponsored by the alcohol industry, in this case CyberCellar.com included in a health and wellness publication.

Running an article like this in a magazine such as yours implies that alcohol consumption is a normal part of a healthy lifestyle. It is not.

Running an article like this, in your position of power as a purveyor of health information, will be construed as health experts giving women permission to drink, if not actively encouraging it.

Right now a woman out there (plenty of them I assure you) who is struggling with her alcohol consumption and who is already bombarded by the messaging that “moms need wine” and a gazillion “funny” wine memes is reading this article and feeling like a complete loser because she can’t drink “normally”. She is questioning her decision to re-evaluate her relationship with alcohol because if a health magazine says it’s ok it must be ok, right? She is feeling more alone and confused than ever. As a magazine promoting women’s health, how does THAT make you feel?

I’m not a prohibitionist: everyone has the right to choose to drink or not. But we can all do a better job examining the stories we tell around alcohol, and learn more about the true impact of alcohol.

Alcohol almost killed me; binge drinking almost killed me. It kills a lot of us because we are taught that alcohol is something we are supposed to ingest; alcohol companies and media uphold that narrative and play it back to us; and then we (and here I mean: you) take that message and run with it. We normalize it and make light of alcohol misuse and even addiction and glorify it.

ENOUGH. This has to stop.

I am not anti-drinking or anti-alcohol but I do take exception when alcohol is touted as being beneficial to one’s well-being and an integral part of a “healthy” lifestyle. If your magazine wishes to emphasize the potential health benefits of alcohol (in any form) then they should also, in the same article, mention the proven downsides of it in the interests of presenting a balanced opinion (which is what you are supposed to be doing, I would assume).

That probably isn’t a very sexy idea so probably best just to leave alcohol out of the health/wellness arena, né?

Yours in health

Jennifer

Follow JenLuiz on Twitter 

 

««»»

 

Heineken – Exploitation of young women

IOGT International. We stand for the lifestyle of the 21st century – active, committed and heart-driven citizens who lead by example. IOGT International and our Member Organizations lead and promote a lifestyle free from alcohol and other drugs, enjoying a rich and free, happy and healthy life – together. It’s what we call Life Set Free.

What Latest Global Fund Drama Reveals About Their Leadership

 

««»»

 

Makro – 01/05/2018

“More Wine less Whine this Mother’s Day” – This was the headline on the email I received from Makro. Followed by 5 wines to match your mom this Mother’s Day  – If your mom was a wine, which one would she be? We help you find the perfect pairing specially for Mother’s Day.

I object to this campaign on many levels.  I complained to Andrew Stein the Marketing Director who was quick to apologise & we hope that they will think a little harder about future campaigns. It is time that there were changes to what is allowed when alcohol is marketed .

Sue

From: Andrew Stein <Andrew.Stein@nullmakro.co.za>

Sent: 09 May 2018 09:52

To: membership@nullworldwithoutwine.com

Subject: RE: More Wine and Less Whine this Mother’s Day

Hi Sue

We must profusely apologise for this. Our copywriter was having a play on words, and the interpretation (which we fully understand) was not the intention at all. Please send me your cell number so I can give you a call to discuss.

Kind regards

ANDREW STEIN

Marketing & eCommerce Director