Cheryl Walker · Tuesday March 22, 2005
When my son, Joshua, was very young I would read to him to help get him settled into bed at night. From Bible stories to Aesop’s Fables to Dr. Seuss, we read them all.
One fun little story involved a young man named, Foolish Jack. This poor lad spent most of the story getting into a lot of trouble with his mother, due to his inappropriate choices about how to carry certain items home that the had purchased for her. He would make his transport choices based not on what would be logical, but what didn’t work right the last time. Needless to say he’d end up in trouble again every time, and children hearing his story would get a little lesson in common sense.
As an alleged grown-up, I can report that I, too, have been much like Foolish Jack, and made decisions based on what didn’t work right the last time, and not common sense.
Thank goodness that, as a NASCAR fan, I have big business, advertising companies, and the NASCAR organization itself looking out for me. They all bring me awareness of and responsible knowledge about a wide array of consumer products, from Butt Paste to hard liquor. I really appreciate that.
If you recall, though, NASCAR was in a tough position not too long ago. They had beer as sponsors, but not hard liquor. As the need for sponsors has increased dramatically, and nitpickers from all over kept asking questions like how there could be Budweiser, and the sponsor for one of their series, Busch, and not the likes of Jack Daniels, NASCAR finally had to admit that this position might be a tad inconsistent, said ‘uncle’, and let the hard liquor sponsorships begin. To save a little face, however, they made a lot of noise about how this would give them and these particular sponsors the opportunity to educate us all about the wisdom of responsible drinking. I don’t know if this will really ever keep a college kid from cutting back on his tequila during spring break, but I am all for trying.
Yet once again I see that a problem has cropped up that will likely cause some heartburn for NASCAR and one of its sponsors. I read a blurb on the internet the other day that a legislator is planning to introduce a bill that would limit the ‘male enhancement’ pill producers to showing their commercials between the hours of 10:00 pm and 6:00 am.
Imagine how this news was received by NASCAR, and the Viagra team? It makes it even more interesting, now that Mark Martin has found his way into the top ten so often, and is on-camera so much. A powerful sponsor with a very popular product, and they can’t even show their commercials during a race? Why, doesn’t this have some eerie comparisons to the days of cigarette sponsors?
At least when the liquor sponsors were permitted in, NASCAR had its ‘well-we’ll-teach-you-responsible-drinking’ stance to fall back on. This obviously wouldn’t work well with the erectile dysfunction products, though. No matter what stance NASCAR would fall back in to support these particular sponsors, I can see mainstream America having hissy-fits of all sorts.
I guess it’s a good thing that these sponsors were already involved in NASCAR before America’s legislators impose their regulations on them about their commercials. Now NASCAR may not have to take any position, except for business-like sympathy.
How all of this will ever play out when the feminine hygiene products want in, one can only wonder. We can only hope that common sense will prevail.
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