Advertising in meetings by meeting members

The 12 Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous, the principles that hold our groups and society together.
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Krb5034
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Advertising in meetings by meeting members

Post by Krb5034 »

I think I may be on the correct thread for my question….is it tradition 5 which would prohibit/discourage the advertising of a member’s business’s for financial gain during group announcements or using group provided phone/email lists?
I recently moved to a new area, I have a lot of time in the program and I know that this is not an acceptable behavior, but I don’t know exactly where to refer my home group members in the AA literature to support my concern.
Ex: recently someone wanted to pass out flyers during a meeting for a jewelry sale she was having, another person wanted to offer discounts to group members for private personal training at her gym and used our group text app.
Please direct me to the correct tradition so I can hopefully bring up topic in my group’s next business meeting.
Many thanks 😊
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Paul912
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Re: Advertising in meetings by meeting members

Post by Paul912 »

Krb5034 wrote: Sat Jan 21, 2023 11:06 am I think I may be on the correct thread for my question….is it tradition 5 which would prohibit/discourage the advertising of a member’s business’s for financial gain during group announcements or using group provided phone/email lists?
I recently moved to a new area, I have a lot of time in the program and I know that this is not an acceptable behavior, but I don’t know exactly where to refer my home group members in the AA literature to support my concern.
Ex: recently someone wanted to pass out flyers during a meeting for a jewelry sale she was having, another person wanted to offer discounts to group members for private personal training at her gym and used our group text app.
Please direct me to the correct tradition so I can hopefully bring up topic in my group’s next business meeting.
Many thanks 😊
Tradition 10 is what you're looking for. While what you stated seems to be in an effort by those individuals to be helpful, they're missing the potential harm to the group and/or A.A. in general - including themselves. Example - the jewelry person - what they advertised during the meeting, someone has a bad experience with the transaction or jewelry and them comes back to the meeting & shares that bad experience. Someone would probably shut that down fairly quickly but since the group allowed the advertising, they really shouldn't. If the group thought it was ok to advertise, then they should allow the reviews. See the dilemma? Same for the gym.

Healthy groups do group inventories on at least an annual basis looking hard at the traditions. In doing that, when these situations come up, they're quickly shut down and the individual bringing it up, educated as to why. Strong groups are easy to spot - they have all flyers routed through the groups secretary, chair or trusted home group member who vets them before being shared. Not to be dictators, but to protect A.A. and the group from possibly engaging in controversy. Hope that helps :)
"But if you really and truly want to quit drinking liquor for good and all, and sincerely feel that you must have some help, we know that we have an answer for you."
MyNameIsBetsy
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Re: Advertising in meetings by meeting members

Post by MyNameIsBetsy »

Moderator split this topic into its own thread. This is an interesting point for discussion/sharing and it is worthy of its own thread. This topic was originally posted in another thread. Good topic for discussion!!! - Betsy
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MyNameIsBetsy
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Re: Advertising in meetings by meeting members

Post by MyNameIsBetsy »

Krb5034 wrote: Sat Jan 21, 2023 11:06 am is it tradition 5 which would prohibit/discourage the advertising of a member’s business’s for financial gain during group announcements or using group provided phone/email lists?

Please direct me to the correct tradition so I can hopefully bring up topic in my group’s next business meeting
Hello KRB, welcome. I think I understand your situation. New to the area. Lots of time in the program. Not liking what seems to be normal procedure at the new meeting. Wanting to bring it up for discussion at a business meeting. But to do it without seeming like an AA know-it-all. Difficult position to be in.

I agree with Tradition 10, and also with Tradition 5. But mostly, I would not like the names and phone lists used for business purposes. We are supposed to be anonymous. Those phone lists are to help us connect with other sober AAers. They are not marketing tools.

Good luck with persuading the group to change course. Even if the group is wrong, the group has the right to be wrong. And with that in mind, I would throw in a little Tradition 2 for yourself, "For our group purpose, there is but one ultimate authority—a loving God as he may express Himself in our group conscience." The group might like it exactly how it is.

So keep a sense of humor, keep trying, and good luck. You need them as much as they need you.

Betsy
an alcoholic
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tomsteve
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Re: Advertising in meetings by meeting members

Post by tomsteve »

this is a darn good topic and great one for discussion. i was also thinking of tradition 5. my belief is that advertising for a persons business at a meeting is misuse of what AA is about.
we have one primary purpose- to carry the message of AA to other alcoholics.

tradition 12 states:
Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.

this is referring to anonymity outside of AA however, the principles of the traditions and, to put it plainly, common sense, come into play when it comes to advertising for outside enterprises. how would it look for AA if a newcomer came in and saw a table full of flyers for businesses? if during the announcements someone started handing out fliers and advertising their business? they come for help with a serious problem and hear and see advertising for outside enterprises seems would not look good for AA.

step 10 simplified - check my motives. i feel people wanting to advertise at meetings,and the group as a whole, should check their motives for allowing advertising.
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PaigeB
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Re: Advertising in meetings by meeting members

Post by PaigeB »

ARGHHHH - the pressure of Girl Scout Cookies! All the daughters! And granddaughters! I would go broke. So no matter how bad I wanted cookies, I could not choose one over another. Somehow, since the cookie chatter did not occur at the same table or between the prayers, it was ok? Or maybe it was just when there were only 2 daughters and suddenly there were 5? It did get obviously out of control though. I think we waited until after the selling season to bring it up, but I can't quite recall - that was many years ago.

I DO remember that when the time came to sell my granddaughter's cookies, it was a well established NO SALE. :arrow:
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Krb5034
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Re: Advertising in meetings by meeting members

Post by Krb5034 »

Thank you all for your feedback!! Betsy, you really hit the nail on the head: "New to the area. Lots of time in the program. Not liking what seems to be normal procedure at the new meeting. Wanting to bring it up for discussion at a business meeting. But to do it without seeming like an AA know-it-all. Difficult position to be in."
One of the lessons I'm learning from this is gratitude for having gotten sober in groups which were strong in the traditions. I will proceed gently with my new home group and lead by example, perhaps a offer a suggestion when appropriate. As much as my ego wants to run the show in cases like this, I appreciate the other feedback in this thread that "each group in autonomous" and also that the group has the right to be wrong.
It's a wonderful homegroup full of mostly young women in their first 5 years of sobriety with a sprinkling of people like myself with 20+ years. I'm still learning.....and I hope I never stop.
I'm so glad a found this discussion forum and again Im grateul to all who responded.
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Layne
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Re: Advertising in meetings by meeting members

Post by Layne »

someone wanted to pass out flyers during a meeting for a jewelry sale
To me, this runs counter to tradition 5 and our primary purpose. Meeting times are short and precious and should stick to recovery. Why not do it before or after a meeting in the parking lot? Or post on bulletin board designated for outside, non-recovery oriented agenda that might be of interest to other members. During a topic discussion meeting, you could always bring up the topic of tradition 5 without mentioning any specifics and see where things go.
wanted to offer discounts to group members for private personal training at her gym and used our group text app
Not familair with or sure about how that app is set up, so no input from me.

I hope the next quote doesn't offend you, it is not a dig, just food for thought, I would want someone to bring it to my attention when my mind starts to stray in that direction...
I know that this is not an acceptable behavior
I know what you mean and don't disagree but putting words aside, there is some food for thought and deep philosophical diving if you are like me. I don't know if you are or not, so me being me, I mentioned it. :~)
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