A Finnish non-profit organization has created an advertisement that aims to stop parents from being drunk around their children.
The children all stare bleakly, in various modes of coping. As the music crescendos, viewers realize what exactly they are staring at - the same monsters that haunted your dreams as children: zombies, grim reapers, disturbing clowns. But the monsters aren't simply the creatures that invade children's nightmares, and required us to sleep with the lights on, but the kids' parents. Worst of all, like so many horror movies, they are the only ones that can see these creatures. The copy at the end of the ad says, "How do our children see us when we've been drinking?"
Fragile Childhood is a Finnish non-profit founded in 1986 and aims to help children who have suffered at the hands of parents' alcohol abuse. Their point is unsettling and clear, even if you don't agree with the message: children are affected by parents' alcohol abuse.
And, according to Fragile Childhood, that's the whole point. "The campaign activities are...to highlight the fact that is still not widely understood how much harm parental drinking problems causes to children," they say. "For example, previous research has shown that every fourth Finnish child has suffered some harm because of its parent's alcohol usage."
Alcohol consumption seems to be a growing concern in Finland. One website says that alcohol use has quintupled since the 1950s, and underage drinking has increased from 10 percent to 20 percent of alcohol consumption. Perhaps most troublingly, 10 percent of men account for 45 percent of the total alcohol consumption in the country, and 10 percent of women account for 50 percent of total alcohol use.
Finland is not alone in their concern over the negative effects of alcohol. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports there are over 15,000 deaths each year in the United States from alcoholic liver disease. Every year, there are 24,000 accidents and murders caused by alcohol in the United States.
The ad also is reminiscent of another horrifying ad made in 2008 in Germany, which detailed the horrors of sexual abuse. Don't watch that one if you want to be happy at all for the rest of the day.
The ad from Fragile Childhood can be found below.