Family & Living

January, 14, 2011 - 09:20 PM / ET

Umpqua Partners' Youth Campaign Achieves Positive Outcome
Local Oregon Anheuser/Busch Distributor Lauded for Removing Offensive Beer Ads

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 14, 2011 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ -- Marin Institute, the alcohol industry watchdog, offered thanks today to Anheuser/Busch beer distributor, Western Beverage in Roseburg, Oregon, for quickly responding to a local youth-led petition campaign to take down beer ads that sent the wrong message.


The ads for Busch Family 30 Packs and Bud Family 24 Pack Cubes were found to be offensive for their use of the word "family" that could easily imply a Bud for every member of the family. The ads were seen around the town on heavily populated streets and even next to an elementary school. Youth of Umpqua Partners for a Drug Free Future (YUP) quickly organized and began circulating a petition to ask the local beer distributor to remove advertising that references "family." They felt it was irresponsible marketing and sent the wrong message to youth.

"We received countless emails and phone calls expressing concern," stated Patti LaFreniere, executive director at Umpqua Partners. "But I'm pleased to report that the local Western Beverage Branch Manager, Mike Gunn, assured me that they are removing all the offensive beer ads. This is truly a community that cares about our kids."

According to a November 2009 report by the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation (PIRE), underage drinkers consumed 14.9% of all alcohol sold in Oregon in 2007, totaling $371 million in sales. That same year, underage drinking cost the citizens of Oregon $841 million from alcohol-related homicide, suicide, traumatic injury, drowning, burns, violent and property crime, high risk sex, fetal alcohol syndrome, alcohol poisoning, and need for treatment for alcohol abuse and dependence.

"The more alcohol ads kids see, the more likely they are to drink, drink to excess, and drink more often," said Sarah Mart, research and policy manager for Marin Institute. "We don't often get an opportunity to even consider letting Big Alcohol out of the Doghouse. However, Western Beverage in Roseburg did the right thing by responding to their community, which also deserves kudos for quickly acting on inappropriate local alcohol advertising."

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SOURCE Marin Institute