University of Iowa Renews A-B InBev Sponsorship Deal

budweiser-university-of-iowa-neon-sign giant-e1340067130506When the University of Iowa (UI) issued its 2010 Alcohol Harm Reduction Plan to lower drinking rates and attract more alcohol abstainers and low-risk drinkers to the University, it should have been a sign of good intentions from the administration. Yet no plan to increase public health can succeed when one of the most powerful players in the institution is working against it. Enter UI Athletics and its three-year sponsorship agreement with Anheuser-Busch InBev, a deal that plasters beer advertising and logos in conjunction with UI logos throughout the UI campus and community. With the deal set to expire this year, given the scope and importance of the University’s high-profile efforts to reduce alcohol-related harm in the student population, it would have been a good time for the University to end the alcohol sponsorship. 
After all, aren't UI administrators eager to reduce the school's party image and create a safer, healthier campus? Evidently not. As it turns out, the UI athletic department recently signed a new agreement with A-B InBev, which gives the alcohol producer the right to place the UI Hawkeye logo on retail displays promoting Budweiser, such as posters and flags; promotional giveaways like cups, caps, and T-shirts; and radio advertisements and guest entertainment at home games for football, basketball, wrestling and at the UI Finkbine golf course.
The University of Iowa (UI) has a problem with alcohol consumption and related harm, and policymakers are not unaware of the alcohol-related problems its students face. The school noted in its 2010 plan that “there is substantive evidence that student at The University of Iowa drink more heavily leading to more negative consequences than other college students nationally.” In one study, 70% of students reported engaging in high-risk drinking in the past two weeks – compared with 33% of college students nationally. UI students are 1.5 to 2 times more likely to experience negative consequences from drinking, such as blackouts or arrests, than college students do nationally.
Clearly, UI is willing to undermine its stated intention of reducing alcohol consumption and related harm for its students for the sake of promoting Anheuser-Busch InBev products. Prioritizing sponsorship dollars over student health and safety sends a dismal message to other schools struggling with the same problems. It also sends a strong message to the alcohol industry: Come target UI students and local youth with beer promotions--we'll even help you do it.

For more information on the dangers of alcohol marketing and sponsorship, please see AJ's fact sheet on refusing industry funding and on alcohol marketing and youth


Study: Fewer Alcohol-Related Traffic Deaths in Control States

Study: Fewer Alcohol-Related Traffic Deaths in States with Heavier Control

Report-Cover-Webnew Keystone Research Center report has found that states with more control of the sale and distribution of alcohol have fewer alcohol-related traffic fatalities than states with no such controls. The new analysis showed that with all else equal, a state with control characteristics like Pennsylvania has 58 fewer adult deaths per year from alcohol-related traffic accidents than it would if the state had no control over the distribution of alcohol. The findings reinforce the recent Community Preventive Services Task Force recommendations against the privatization of alcohol sales, and are particularly relevant in Pennsylvania given recent moves to privatize there.
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New Report: Alcopops Cheaper than Energy Drinks at 7-Eleven

Alcopops711Alcohol Justice released a new report today showing that convenience store giant 7-Eleven cuts prices on supersized, youth-attractive alcopops, so they are cheaper than non-alcoholic energy drinks. While on average, alcopops were the same price per standard alcoholic drink as beer, supersized alcopops in 16- to 24-ounce cans were cheaper per standard drink than similarly sized beer. Some supersized alcopops such as Four Loko and Mike’s Harder Lemonade, entice youth with more alcohol for the price than even similar-sized malt liquor. “Alcopops are just too good of a deal for kids to pass up,” said Holley Shafer, research analyst at Alcohol Justice and co-author of the new report, “Alcopops Cheaper than Energy Drinks: 7-Eleven Gambles with Children’s Lives.” Alcohol Justice surveyed all 7-Eleven stores in northern California’s Marin County, an area plagued with excessive youth alcohol consumption.

-Read Report   


UFC Owners Attempt to Silence Alcohol Justice Critique on YouTube

In April 2012, Alcohol Justice posted a Big Alcohol Watchdog Video on our YouTube channel that severely criticized Anheuser-Busch InBev and the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) for “exposing young, underage fans to extreme violence, bloodiness, sexually denigrating language and behavior,” and of course, inappropriate beer ads. Within two weeks, YouTube pulled our video down due to claims of copyright infringement made by ZUFFA, LLC (owners of the UFC) and another content provider called Machinima. These companies did not care for what we had to say, so they attempted to silence our legitimate right to critique their shameful behavior and harmful business practices.

Machinima image logoAsYouTube does not arbitrate such issues, they just pulled the video. Alcohol Justice was then forced to file “counter-claims” asserting our “fair use” right under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to use short clips of the material for transformative and noncommercial purposes. Such use is protected, and we are happy to announce that YouTube has now rescinded the original copyright infringement claims. Our video was re-posted.

FBLLOctagonGirlor their attempts to silence a legal voice of criticism, and continuing to expose young fans to inappropriate and harmful content, Machinima and ZUFFA, LLC have earned entry into the Alcohol Justice Doghouse. They are not alone. A-B InBev maintains a permanent residence there for aggressive sponsorship, advertising and branding practices that influence underage viewers to drink beer, drink more, and drink more often.

Please click here to TAKE ACTION and tell A-B InBev executives to pull the plug on Bud Light’s UFC sponsorship.