created over 3 years ago | Tagged:
Dozens of colleges are up in arms over a new Anheuser-Busch marketing campaign that features Bud Light beer cans emblazoned with local schools' team colors.
Many college administrators contend that the promotions near college campuses will contribute to underage and binge drinking and give the impression that the colleges are endorsing the brew. Though some schools aren't interfering with the promotion, others are demanding that the sales be stopped. With students returning to campuses and the fall football season approaching, the "Fan Cans" are also renewing the debate over the role of beer makers in encouraging college drinking
Anheuser-Busch responds that the campaign is aimed only at fans who can drink legally and that it has long supported efforts to fight alcohol abuse. It notes that the cans don't bear any school's name or logo. And it says it will drop the campaign near any college that makes a formal complaint. The Bud Light promotion, which involves 27 different color combinations, started rolling out this month. Purple-and-gold cans are being sold near the campus of Louisiana State University, and red-and-gold containers near Iowa State University.
At least 25 schools have formally asked Anheuser-Busch to drop the campaign near their campuses, Mr. Siegal says. In recent letters, the University of Michigan's lawyers threatened legal action for alleged trademark infringement, demanding that Anheuser-Busch not sell the "maize and blue" cans in the "entire state." The University of Colorado, Oklahoma State University, Texas A&M University and Boston College have also told the company to stop distribution near their campuses, citing trademark issues and concern about student alcohol use.