Social Norms Marketing Campaign

What is Be the Parent on the Scene?

Be the Parent on the Scene is Talbot and Dorchester County Health Departments’ social norms marketing campaign designed to communicate directly with both Talbot and Dorchester County parents and guardians of tweens and teens about the issues of under-age drinking and supplying alcohol to minors.

What is a social norms marketing campaign?

A social norms marketing campaign aims to magnify the facts and trends about a social issue (generally, that is drug or alcohol related) while dispelling myths. For example, many parents might be sensitive about openly disagreeing with providing alcohol to minors, but they don’t speak up because of insecurities about being in the minority, made fun of, or “blown off” for voicing their opinion. However, if a parent knew that 87% of other parents feel the same way he does, that parent might have the confidence to make his opinion known. In this example, the social norms marketing campaign would emphasize that most parents actually are against supplying alcohol to minors, to dispel a potentially prevailing opinion that many parents might be comfortable with letting their teens drink.

What is the goal of the campaign?

The goal of the Be the Parent on the Scene social norms marketing campaign is to present messages to parents and guardian of minors in Dorchester and Talbot Counties about current alcohol-related “facts and figures” and to promote the importance of being involved and aware of their children’s social activities. Themes within the campaign use bold, graphic images and statistics to attract the attention of parents and guardians of minors. Start to think--don’t let your kids drink! Heeding the sound advice to be smarter than your Tween or Teen, Be the Parent on the Scene is striving to improve the haunting statistics of binge and underage drinking in Talbot and Dorchester Counties.

How is this campaign being funded?

The campaign is being funded by the Maryland Behavioral Health Administration, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and the Dorchester and Talbot County Health Departments.

What is binge drinking?

Unlike the definition of “underage drinking” or “supplying alcohol to minors”, “binge drinking” is often misunderstood. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism defines binge drinking as “a pattern of alcohol consumption that brings the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level to 0.08% or more. This pattern of drinking usually corresponds to five or more drinks on a single occasion for men or four or more drinks on a single occasion for women, generally within about two hours.” It is also important to note that a .08% blood alcohol concentration is the minimum level a person could be charged with a DUI.

Where can I find more information on underage and binge drinking?

In addition to the information found on the Be the Parent on the Scene web site, we offer a comprehensive list of resources related to underage and binge drinking and alcohol abuse.

What sources were referenced to obtain information for this site?

Blue Ribbon Commission Oversight Committee’s 2009 Status Report, the 2007 Maryland State Board of Education Maryland Adolescent Survey, Talbot Partnership, and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 2010-2011 Dorchester County Public Schools “Communities That Care” Survey, 2008 Maryland Uniform Crime Report, Maryland State Police, 2011 Adolescent Treatment Group Focus Groups, 2008-2010 Key Informant Interviews, 2010-2011 Partnership for a Drug Free Dorchester Adult Tolerance Survey.