Wednesday, 2 July 2008

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."

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2 Comments:

Anonymous Eric H said...

I completely agree about the Sparks website. There's a consumer advocacy petition here targeted at Miller, asking them to follow A-B's lead and drop Sparks.

3 July 2008 at 07:53  
Anonymous Browners said...

Thanks for the comment Eric... here's an extract from the petition...

"Now it's time to train the spotlight on MillerCoors, maker of the Sparks line of alcohol-energy drinks. Sparks products contain 6% to 7% alcohol and are laced with stimulants like caffeine, taurine, and ginseng. And Sparks is aggressively marketed to underage youth using tactics denounced by the state attorneys general and public interest groups like CSPI and the Marin Institute."

4 July 2008 at 02:18  

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