To Ban or Not to Ban: Poster Showing the Link Between Rape and Alcohol is Pulled
Ad was part of The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board's campaign to educate young adultsBy: Shareen Pathak, Published: Dec 09, 2011
The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board has pulled an ad that was meant to warn younger adults about the dangers of drinking and rape after it received complaints that the ad blamed victims for rape.
The ad, which shows a pair of legs with underwear pulled down to the ankles, reads, "She didn't want to, but she couldn't say no."
The poster is part of a campaign for Control Tonight, which includes an interactive website that shows young adults how they can take charge of a night of heavy drinking. Based around the theme of "Call the Shots," the campaign, developed by Philadelphia agency Neiman Group, asks drinkers to avoid driving while drunk, keep an eye on friends' alcohol intake and know the dangers of alcohol poisoning.
Critics, including feminist blog Jezebel, said the ad promotes a line of thinking that says victims are to blame if they are the subject of sexual assault, since they "asked for it," and the ad also conveys the message that your friends are to blame if you are a rape victim.
However, some people, including Jennifer Storm, Executive Director of the Victim/Witness Assistance Program in Harrisburg defended the ad, telling the Associated Press that the ad facilitates a conversation we should be having about the very obvious link between rape and excessive drinking.
Other ads in the series that haven't been pulled show some other dangers of alcohol, including cheating, sex without protection and alcohol poisoning.
What do you think? Should the ad have been pulled because it places the blame for sexual assault directly on the victim -- who may have had one too many to drink? Or does it delve into a topic that although touchy, may be spot-on: that assault and excessive alcohol do have a proportionate relationship? Tell us in the comments.