Are You 21?
Today's guest post comes from the man of the homestead, Alex. This isn't a sexist classification, it's the truth: Alex lives with two female humans, two female dogs, and four female hens. He's the only guy around to take on demanding issues like horse racing and distillery websites.
Apparently there is a race-inside-the-race held prior to the running of the Kentucky Derby. It is called the “Turf Classic” and is on grass inside the main dirt race course at Churchill Downs. I was excited to see this event sponsored by Woodford Reserve, one of my favorite bourbon distilleries. In fact, Rachel and I visited there last year on our trip to Bourbon country.
So, I decided to hop over to their website to see if they had any interesting Derby information. Upon arriving at their front page, I was confronted by the ubiquitous “must enter age” to view this website. The rationale they give is that alcohol should be responsibly enjoyed by those of a legal age.
Now I can understand wanting people to drink responsibly, I can even understand the desire to see age limits enforced (although I could write for hours on the stupidity of liquor laws in our country). However, what is the point of restricting access to a website?
I mean, I can’t get drunk from accessing a website, can I? Believe me, I would be exceeding AT&T’s bandwidth caps if this were the case. I can’t order liquor for delivery from their website. I don’t think there is anything I can do on their website that is legally restricted for those under the age of 21.
It seems to me that the main purpose of this exercise is to promote an image of corporate responsibility on the part of liquor companies. This is all well and good, but what is to keep a minor from entering a false birth date? For myself, I usually claim to be a 108 year old male from Afghanistan when asked upon entry. And what will actually happen if the underage gain illicit entry to one of these websites? Not a damn thing.
The image of corporate responsibility cultivated costs a liquor company almost nothing and only serves to piss off their customers. If these companies really cared about alcohol abuse among the younger generation there are lots of concrete actions they could take. However, to actually do good in these areas of social concern costs money. By putting up an age restriction on a website, a company has spent nothing, but taken “real action.” It’s the best of both worlds for the corporation concerned.
Now I realize I may be coming off as some sort of a teetotaler. Nothing could be further from the truth as I enjoy my alcohol immensely. I would simply like to see companies think about what they are doing, and if they really want to support a cause, do so in a truly meaningful way.