Bud Light fan cans to be shelved?
Wed, 16 Sep 2009 04:10:35 GMT —
Update: Sept. 15, 10 p.m.:
A controversial Bud Light promotion could soon be ending, according to a spokeswoman for the University of Missouri.
Two weeks ago Chancellor Brady Deaton called the black and gold "fan can" campaign "completely unacceptable."
According to the spokeswoman, Anheuser-Busch wrote back and indicated in a letter that they would cease their "Team Pride" campaign.
It's not clear if that means the cans will be pulled or just the controversial marketing. Some convenience stores have been using store displays in recent weeks advertising the beer with the outline of a Mizzou football player and the school's tiger logo.
The university has called the campaign's marketing "trademark infringement."
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When Anheuser-Busch first came out with the "tailgate approved" fan cans, the university didn't flinch, saying they it nothing to do with the school.
But when a KRCG News investigation found convenience stores advertising the cans using Mizzou trademarks - like the tiger logo - Chancellor Brady Deaton sent a letter to the beer-maker asking them to scrap the team colored cans.
He objected to marketing for the beer, which used MU's likeness without permission. He said the campaign also targeted underage students.
"This is completely unacceptable and conveys the impression to the consumer that the University of Missouri is somehow supportive of this marketing effort," Deaton wrote in the letter dated Aug. 28. "We ask that Anhesuer-Busch...cease this 'Team Pride' campaign."
The promotion used the school's black and gold colors as part of a "team pride" promotion. Deaton went on in the letter to say MU takes underage drinking seriously.
On Tuesday, a university spokeswoman told KRCG News they don't care if A-B continues to sell the fan cans, as long as the tiger logo - often associated with Mizzou sports - isn't used to market them.
However, at the Southside Bar and Grill in Columbia, the school's tiger logo is clearly used to advertise Budweiser in a variety of displays A university spokeswoman says that's OK because it's inside a bar with legal-aged drinkers.
All MU images used for advertising purposes have to be cleared through the school's licensing office. Recent store displays that used the school's tiger logo to advertise the Bud Light fan cans were never approved.
A school spokesman said in an e-mail that their "business relationship with A-B is completely separate from this situation, which we view as a trademark violation."
Anheuser-Busch has stopped selling the cans in communities where colleges have objected. It's not clear if, or when, they will stop being sold in Columbia.