Blog: Chris Brook-CarterLegal eagles

Chris Brook-Carter | 10 February 2004

As just-drinks predicted, the legal case launched in the US last year against some of the world’s major drinks companies, regarding their advertising and its alleged appeal to underage drinkers, is not the isolated case many hoped it would prove to be.

Last week it emerged that the family of a 20-year-old woman killed in a car crash involving an underage drunk driver is suing Anheuser-Busch and Miller Brewing Co. The lawsuit claims that the companies are waging a marketing assault on California's youth by intentionally targeting minors through advertising on media heavily trafficked by underage consumers. They also stand accused of developing products designed to obscure the difference between alcoholic beverages and soda pop, and supporting promotions appealing to a primarily underage audience.

The case highlights the increasingly difficult environment the drinks trade is going to be operating within in 2004. Our industry still seems torn on how best to proceed. It was interesting to hear Pernod Ricard managing director Richard Burrows confidently brush off concerns over increased regulation within the drinks world when questioned by journalists at the presentation for full year sales on Thursday. 

As good as Pernod’s figures were, it has already fallen foul in 2003 to legislation, with a substantial fall in performance in Ireland and France, the first due to increased taxes, the second to stricter drink driving laws. Although Burrows says there was increased pressure on the drinks industry’s freedom to advertise, he believed that in terms of consumption of the company’s products, there would not be any difficulties.

Whether you agree or disagree with Burrows, watch out for our next management briefing, out in a week’s time, which will investigate in depth the current state of play across Europe with regards to alcohol legislation.


BLOG

What is Heineken hiding up its sleeve in Australia?

Heineken is gearing up for a product launch in Australia this month. But exactly what the product is, the brewer is not saying....

BLOG

Anheuser-Busch InBev's craft brewers turn hermits in their own kingdoms

It's Summer in the northern hemisphere and the beer festivals are in full swing. Even the famously secluded North Korea is letting its regulation-cut hair down with the Taedonggang Beer Festival, name...

BLOG

Under the influencers - regulators crack down on sponsored social media

Drinks companies that use celebrities and influencers to endorse products via social media could be in line for some rule changes....

BLOG

Drinking & Driving? Ford and Jose Cuervo's Tequila cars

A couple of months ago, US-based Saltwater Brewery developed 'edible six-pack rings' in an effort to curb threats to wildlife....

just-drinks homepage



Forgot your password?