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Anheuser-Busch Inbev is pulling its 'Fan Cans' promotional campaign from college campuses which objected to it. The campaign features Bud Light in school colored cans. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) pressure also appears to have played a part in Anheuser-Busch's decision.
The AP reports that the FTC took issue with 'Fan Cans' being marketed on college campuses because the FTC requires that 70% of an alcohol advertisement's audience be 21 or older. As Janet Evans, an attorney responsible for alcohol marketing issues at the FTC, stated, "[w]hen you've got a college campus audience you've got a very large number of persons who are below the legal drinking age there, and in addition, you've got a population that engages almost exclusively in binge drinking."
The promotion was timed to coincide with the begining of college football season. According to the Wall Street Journal, Anheuser-Bush sent promotional materials to the schools, including one making clear that: "This year, only Bud Light is delivering superior drinkability in 12-ounce cans that were made for gameday." (Note that's superior drinkability, rather than mere "drinkability," a tag line which for unknown reasons does not seem to make people want to drink more Bud-Lite. )
Not surprisingly, many school officials were not eager to crack open a Fan Can. Cans with school colors don't mesh well with attempts to curb binge drinking and drunk driving on campus.
According to the AP, at least 25 universities complained to Anheuser-Busch about the program. In addition to concerns for the health of their students, many schools also expressed concern for their trademarks, which they feel would be infringed by the 'Fan Cans.'
If you're over 21, you'll still be able to get that "superior drinkability" in gameday ready cans through retail outlets where purchasers must be 21 years old.
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