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Read the case and write an introduction and history


Read the case and write an introduction and history about it after the introduction in 4-5 pages. double space 12 fount introduction about the whole case and history about the topic Alcohol Advertising Anheuser Busch had high hopes for Spykes. When the product was introduced in 2005, the giant brewer was losing market share to distilled spirits. In 2001 spirits makers had ended a long-standing voluntary policy against aggressive advertising. Liquor ads filled cable channels, then appeared on network affiliates. At NASCAR races lettering for Jim Beam and Jack Daniels appeared on the cars. More drinkers, notably young adults between 21 and 30 years old, found novelty in new brands, drinks, and mixes marketed by the distillers. Drinking tastes were changing. The trend in bars and clubs was moving away from domestic beers such as Anheuser-Busch’s Budweiser. Chairman August A. Busch III thought the company needed something “fun and new and innovative” to put into the hands of young drinkers.1 That product was Spykes, a caffeinated malt liquor beverage that was 12 percent alcohol. It came in a 1.7-ounce bottle for $0.75 or a 2-ounce bottle for $1. Spykes included caffeine to capitalize on the popularity of mixing energy drinks with alcohol and it came in multiple flavors— Spicy Lime, Spicy Mango, Hot Melons, and Hot Chocolate. Drinkers could down it as a shot or experiment by mixing the flavors in beer or cocktails. Anheuser-Busch tried to build the brand slowly through word of mouth at the local level. It set up a 1 Quoted in Victor Reklaits, “Anheuser-Busch Unveils Product Aimed at 21- to 30-year Olds,” Daily Press-Newport, December 2, 2005, p. 1. brightly colored Web site with recipes for Spykes. “Try it as a shot. Spice up your beer. Invent a new cocktail. Mix two or more together for a new flavor.”2 Visitors downloaded music mixes, ringtones, and screen savers. A message board let users inter- act with the site. One exchange of ideas was, “I wonder if it still tastes good if you heat it up lol,” followed by, “I’m gonna try putting one in the microwave . . . lol.”3 By early 2007 Spykes had been rolled out in 32 states. Then a mighty eruption rose from the precincts of those self-appointed to protect the public from the evils of alcohol. It began with a press release from the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a watchdog group founded by Ralph Nader. In it, George A. Hacker, head of the group’s alcohol campaign, unloaded a vicious attack on Spykes, calling it “the latest attempt by Anheuser-Busch to get children interested in alcohol.” “This is a shameful ploy to market malt liquor to the Lunchables set,” he said. “It’s hard to imagine an adult purchasing this beverage, unless they were bringing it for a surprise date with Chris Hansen on Dateline NBC.” The evidence that Spykes targeted underage drinkers included its sweet flavors, the lack of age- verification and “teen-friendly” attractions on its Web site, and its caffeine (because energy drinks are popular with teenagers). Hacker called on the company to “immediately pull Spykes off of shelves, apologize to parents, and hope that in the meantime, no young person wraps his or her car around a tree after being Spyked once too often at the prom.”4 The Center for Science in the Public Interest is at the forefront in a coalition of antialcohol groups that faults the alcoholic beverage industry for social problems caused by drinking. Others in this coalition piled on. Project Extra Mile, which fights underage drinking, expressed concern that minors could hide small Spykes bottles in pockets and purses.5 Another 2 Donna Leinwand, “Beermaker Urged to Pull Spykes,” USA Today, April 10, 2007, p. A3.
3 Quoted in Kari Huus, “A Booze Buzz for Teenyboppers?” MSNBC, April 3, 2007 at www.


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