At first glance, the Instagram account of Louise Delage, a young woman from France, in no way differs from any of the thousands of others that are out there.
Louise registered on Instagram at the start of August, and in just a few weeks gained tens of thousands of followers. Her images show a joyful, carefree life — walks on the beach, meetings with friends, nightclubs, and trips to shops and restaurants.
You might reach the conclusion that Louise leads a wonderful life — if you didn’t pick up on one small feature of her photographs. Can you tell what it is? In every photograph, alcohol is an integral part of the scene.
In almost every photograph of Louise, she’s either holding a glass of alcohol in her hand or drinking from it. In other cases, alcohol is still somewhere in the image.
Sometimes, it’s true, you don’t detect the presence of alcohol straightaway, but it’s always there. Does this mean Louise has a serious problem about which she doesn’t even suspect herself?
Not quite. In reality, the profile of Louise Delage wasn’t created by a real person. It was created by the BETC advertising agency at the request of an organization called Addict Aide as part of a campaign to help inform young people about the dangers of alcoholism.
According to the president of BETС, recognizing the first signs of alcoholism in those closest to you isn’t always as easy as it might seem. In order to show how it happens, they decided to create an Instagram account of a fictional person exhibiting signs of addiction, who at the same time no one would suspect was an alcoholic.
Large numbers of people enjoyed getting a glimpse of the life of this beautiful young woman, without noticing that she was showing signs of a dependency on alcohol — despite the fact they were clearly on display for anyone to see. In other words, the experiment worked. Louise Delage proved that alcoholism can become part of young people’s lives in a way that’s imperceptible to those around them.
A spokesperson for the advertising agency commented: "We hope that this campaign will open some people’s eyes to what’s happening to them, and they’ll turn to Addict Aide or a similar organization for help before it’s too late."