In the Doghouse

In the Doghouse

Alcohol brands exploit Prince's death

April 26, 2016

Moments after the release of news of Prince’s death, social media feeds blew up around the globe. Fans shared their favorite videos, photos, and heartfelt memories of the legendary rockstar.

While the world mourned together, some companies disguised high-profile advertising in tasteless tribute posts.

Alcohol producer Maker’s Mark is among the companies that exploited Prince’s death to push its own big alcohol agenda.

In addition, a tweet by Four Loko was also spotted, stating “pouring one out for prince,” but this post has since been wisely deleted.
Four Loko Prince

Prince was well-known for his deep personal opposition to the consumption of any alcoholic products. It was part of the unique imprint he left on the world with honesty, authenticity, and transparency.

In honoring his life and his death, it is only fair that businesses, and especially the alcohol industry, do the same.

A-B InBev Forgets History and Invades the Retail Tier

March 31, 2016

Ever since the Repeal of Prohibition, Federal and state laws have mostly banned the retailing of alcohol by producers. Some states fall under an exception, which permit microbrews and brew pubs the ability to produce and sell at the same location. Anheuser-Busch InBev has decided to forget the ugly public and safety history of producer-owned saloons and are purchasing brew pubs like Goose Island, with the main motivation to sell their own beer in these local establishments. 

The U.S. beer market is dominated by A-B InBev, which along with MillerCoors, owns 80% of the market. AB-Inbev has gone on a craft brew buying binge, recently acquiring three new craft breweries for a total of eight and counting. Not only does this pose an enormous public health threat, it has created unrest within the craft brew industry

Really CEO Carlos Brito, must you try to monopolize the production, wholesale, and on-sale tavern sectors of the industry?

New comic book character brought to you by Mike's Harder

February 12, 2016

Mike's Harder has partnered with 20th Century Fox and Disney-owned Marvel Studios to produce a limited edition collectible series of its alcopop in 16 oz. cans plastered with the mutant anti-hero Deadpool.

As the story goes, the X-Men spinoff character has superhuman healing powers and is highly resistant to drugs and most toxins, making it extremely hard for him to become intoxicated -- just the kind of spokesperson a high-octane, youth-oriented alcopop like Mike's Harder wants promoting its brand.

Eight percent ABV and 16 oz. means 2 standard drinks in each can/serving, accompanied by sugar/sweeteners, flavorings, and colors...covered in Deadpool images and some snarky catch phrasessuch as "8% alcohol, 100% AWESOME" and  "only for those who can take the harder things in life.

This partnership associates the Mike's Harder brand with superhero powers, which couldn't be further from the truth.

Leaving the fantasy for the real human world, we remember that marketing alcohol with popular characters that are attractive to youth encourages earlier drinking initiation and increased consumption, and strengthens brand loyalty in youth and young adults. The evidence is also clear that youth who drink supersized alcopops such as Mike's Harder drink more and experience more alcohol-related injuries.

Pairing a comic book character like Deadpool with one of the most popular alcopops for underage drinkers seems to contradict both common sense and the industry's own self-regulatory facade.

Tell the CEOs of 20th Century Fox and Mike's Hard Lemonade to stop harming youth with this partnership.

Read our most recent report on alcopops here.