2007-01-05 Bill Shiller
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Freedom spirits : a Swedish campaign to raise awareness against the dangers of alcohol consumption in developing countries

The Swedish temperance movement has been increasingly concerned, with Western liquor companies and their clever PR advertisements, aiming at new markets in developing countries -- the growing middle class and especially women. In Sweden a new campaign called "Freedom Spirits" aims at reaching both Swedes and consumers abroad, about the dangers of alcohol consumption. ragic observations in many developing countries have noted those armies of poverty-stricken men in the sprawling city slums and in the countryside - spending all of their meagre wages on the local alcoholic brew - instead of on food for the family, badly-needed medicine or school books. But a more recent spotlight has focused on those Western-influenced ad campaigns on highway billboards and in magazines in Africa, Asia and Latin America - designed to capture new consumers with luxury scenes of the rising middle class enjoying expensive, imported spirits -- ads often for the first time including women. As a counter measure, the Swedish temperance movement has been using sophisticated-looking leaflets, brochures and even exhibitions offering free drinks from glamorous bottles of a brand called "Freedom Spirits" - containing no alcohol at all.

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africa, alcohol, health, sweden

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