Blog: Legal 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.
The long-running spat between US and Czech brewers stepped up a notch this week after the Czech president described American beer as “filthy water”....
I've stopped short of covering it as a product launch story on just-drinks, but take a look at this. Released this month in the UK, Snuffle Dog Beer is already available in 25 markets....
PepsiCo received high praise when it announced it was to launch its stevia-based Pepsi extension True exclusively on Amazon in the US....
Sean 'Diddy' Combs, the US rapper and entrepreneur, has publicly turned against his apparent former favourite Tequlia brand, Patron, now that he is joint-owner of DeLeón Tequila....
- Why Chinese beverages won't conquer the world
- Is “Craft” the Next Big Thing for Soft Drinks?
- Can Coca-Cola fuel SABMiller's soft drinks story?
- Petropolis Finally Moving into SABMiller's View?
- Gin: Plymouth's from Plymouth, London's from...?
- Diageo confirms Australia RTD abv drops
- Pernod launches online Ballantine's "experiment"
- Global vodka sales slip in 2013 - research
- SABMiller returns to Brazil with Petropolis tie-up
- Smirnoff tops UK shopping list - figures
- Early Signals: future scenarios that will drive consumption and product innovation over the next five years
- Global Scotch whisky insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends research
- Global vodka insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends research
- The IWSR Forecast Report - 2014-2019 Global Review
- Global Tequila Market 2014-2018