The AP is reporting that Anheuser-Busch InBev is dropping its “Fan Cans” promotions from communities around the country where colleges have complained that the new campaign — which sells cans of Bud Light in school colors — promotes underage drinking and infringes on trademarks.
With college drinking a major controversy on campuses, colleges criticized the Fan Cans as promoting the worst instincts in college kids. Rolling out with the new football season, Fan Cans were clearly aimed at mixing students’ affection for their home teams with their fondness for beer.
The beer company refuted that claim, contending that its 27 school-colored beer products targeted legal drinkers. However, it pledged to stop the campaigns in those areas where the schools complained, as apparently many have.
The Wall Street Journal says that the marketing theme was “Show your true colors with Bud Light,” and “This year, only Bud Light is delivering superior drinkability in 12-ounce cans that were made for gameday.”
Is this a fair marketing play or a foul?