by Jaime Rubio Hancock – October 13, 2014
The above advertisement for Damm beers in the late ’60s, promoting a contest to win a trip to Cape Kennedy, is illustrated with a family getting ready to sit down to a meal, and making use of four glasses of beer. Yes, four: the children also have theirs.
That is not the only example of advertising featuring children with glasses and beer bottles: for example, the following ad for Cruzcampo, from 1961, according to the company which owns the brand, Heineken Spain. It depicts four children sharing a litre with joy and good humour, “Because Mom always brings home Cruzcampo.”
Why always Cruzcampo? Because it “helps give a rosy complexion.” And it is for everyone. FOR ALL.
Today, these images from half a century ago are shocking, but there is an explanation. “These ads began in the 1960s and 1970s,” said Fede Segarra, communications director for Damm, “when beer started to become popular in Spain” and enter homes, coinciding with the highest number of refrigerators.
In fact, both Damm and Cruzcampo’s campaigns focused on their one litre format. “Above all, they wanted to promote beer as a family drink”, said Segarra, as you can see in the following advertisement for Eagle Beer, also owned by the Heineken group.
In fact, until the mid-90s, it was common for schools to visit breweries. “Beer has always had a very close relationship with the citizen”, explains Segarra, given that almost every large city had its own factory in the 1950s. “Both then and now, breweries supported cultural activities and had and have many links with society.”
Spain was not the only country with this type of advertising. In fact, Spain was late to both beer consumption and ads with children. The following 1906 ad from the American brand Rainier promoted beer as a beneficial drink for both young and old.
And the following Blatz Beer ad from 1916 promoted the nutritional values of beer malt to mothers and babies.
Heineken Spain stressed that such campaigns were from “a time when there was still lack of knowledge about the effects of alcohol, especially on children.” Damm’s Segarra adds that it was “not given so much importance then as now. There was a more open relationship”, which has mostly changed “by the evolution of society, which is more orderly and safe”.
Both Damm and Heineken argue they’ve spent years promoting responsible drinking through the association of manufacturers, Brewers of Spain, since they signed a code of self-regulation in Europe in the mid-1990s. This code stipulates that no advertising will be done depicting children and children’s activities, nor associating drinking with driving motorized vehicles. i.e. everything wrong with the following ad from the 1960s.
Although it is possible that the child is taking the glass of Damm AFTER the race.
In any case, beer is still a beverage for all. For all over 18, of course.