Though I am your mayor, I do not know everything that is happening in this mega city.
Just like you, I rely on the news.
For instance, last Tuesday morning, I heard on the news that the Seoul Metropolitan Government called for restraints on liquor ads by K-pop idols — a very good job, isn’t it? I was told that it is a new policy being promoted by the Health Promotion Department of the Health & Welfare Office of City Hall.
I hear that, on the average, 574 liquor ads are run on television, radio, and newspapers every day, and that 72% of them feature pop idols.
Promoting liquor through K-pop idols is very dangerous since it downplays the ill effects of drinking liquor. Worse, it makes teens view drinking liquor as something cool. The city government is calling on entertainment companies, liquor manufacturers, and advertising agencies to fulfill their social responsibility by refraining from doing such ads. The Juvenile Protection Act defines liquor as a harmful substance for juveniles.
To reduce the harmful consequences of excessive drinking, the city government has already banned liquor ads at bus stops and minimized accessibility to alcohol at supermarkets by issuing the relevant guidelines.
If cooperation is not achieved against liquor ads by K-pop idols, the city government is planning to conduct special tax investigations on non-cooperative bodies on the one hand and call on the central government to beef up the liquor ad control law on the other. The WHO has defined restrictions on liquor ads as an effective policy instrument and recommended governments to take proper measures. The city of Seoul will become a community free from the worries of underage drinking for the healthier lives of all of its citizens.