SBD/Issue 238/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

Indiana, Purdue Latest Schools To Protest Bud Light's "Fan Cans"

More Schools Joining 
Protest Against "Fan Cans"
Indiana Univ. (IU) and Purdue Univ. are the latest schools to have "joined a coalition of colleges in calling for Anheuser-Busch InBev to stop selling its Bud Light 'fan can,'" according to John Tuohy of the INDIANAPOLIS STAR. Liquor retailers near IU's Bloomington, Indiana, campus are "selling red-and-white Bud Light cans, promoted as 'King and Crimson,' in six-packs and cases," while liquor stores and bars around Purdue's Lafayette, Indiana, campus are "selling the beer cans in Boilermaker black and gold." Both schools have "fired off letters" to A-B "asking the company to 'cease and desist' from selling" the cans near campus. IU VP/Public Affairs & Government Relations Susan Williams: "We don't want to be affiliated or engage in activity that makes it more appealing for people to drink" (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 8/28). A-B said that it has "agreed to honor concerns raised by Texas A&M University officials" over the "Fan Cans." In Houston, Jeannie Kever notes the campaign "will end in College Station, just weeks after it began, as soon as beer currently in stock sells out." Meanwhile, orange and white cans "weren't deemed a threat to the University of Texas." Univ. of Texas Senior Associate AD of External Services Chris Plonsky: "The cans are definitely orange, but we would call it a (University of) Tennessee orange, or a Syracuse orange. We looked at it and said ... it's not our colors" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 8/28).

BAD IDEA FROM THE START: A Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE editorial states the campaign's "only surprise is that no one" at A-B InBev had the "foresight and fortitude to buck Bud’s marketers and ask if this was really such a good idea." What Bud Light "needed was a real life version of its more recent ad campaign: Real men of genius" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 8/28).

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