C U L8R, Alcopops
From Three Minds:
"A little-noticed story from Anheuser-Busch last week given the focus on the presumptive InBev takeover: last week A-B announced that it will stop selling alcoholic energy drinks.
Relenting to pressure from anti-underage drinking activists and state attorneys general, they are pulling the plug on the tiny Bud Extra and Tilt brands (shortly after I got married, I used to see this ad every day on my commute). Several brewers are accused of designing and marketing "alcopops" specifically for the under-21 market, and ultimately it seems A-B has decided that the controversy was not worth the minimal gains.
While it will have little effect on A-B's business, it's a big deal for category leader Miller and their Sparks brand. I've tried Sparks and last year I reviewed Sparks.com, which seemed to give an insight into their product strategy:
"Navigating the site definitely feels like stepping into the mind of a teenage boy - air guitar contests, skateboards, doodles - but in a bold move, no shots of attractive girls. Is it specifically targeted at underage drinkers?"
If the Center for Science in the Public Interest and New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo's case against SAB Miller goes forward, we will soon have our answer."