Tennessee Campaign To Fight Drunk Driving By Young Men Called Sexist


A new advertising campaign by the Tennessee Governor’s Highway Safety Office has prompted accusations that it takes a sexist approach to encouraging young men not to drive under the influence, The Tennessean reports. The campaign boasts slogans that refer to girls looking “hotter” when guys are under the influence and finding that “a marginally good-looking girl” is “chatty,” “clingy” or “your boss’s daughter” is a sign that maybe a man has had too much to drink. Agency director Kendell Poole said the campaign was intentionally designed to reach the “young male demographic.”

“We take feedback from the public seriously and want to thank all of those who have reached out to share their opinions with us,” the statement said. “It was never the intent of our office to offend anyone. This new initiative was designed to reach the young male demographic, who are statistically more likely to drive under the influence. Well-known adages, like dating the boss’s daughter, were used to grab their attention within the bar environment. Our office continually experiments with new strategies in order to be effective with various target demographics, and we will be closely monitoring the results.” One of the fliers reads: “After a few drinks the girls look hotter and the music sounds better. Just remember: If your judgment is impaired, so is your driving.” The fliers and coasters seem to be part of a form of “social norms marketing” mentioned by the Governor’s Highway Safety Office in a 2015 Highway Safety Performance Plan. The plan said this type of marketing targets high-risk populations with messages about normal behaviors, as opposed to “commonly held beliefs about exaggerated substance abuse norms.”

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