Beam Exercises Restraint

The New York Times is doing its best to see through the pr machinations of a large adult beverage marketer.

Beam Global Spirits and Wine — which makes brands like Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark bourbon and Canadian Club whiskey — announced it would voluntarily adopt stricter rules to keep messages away from young people.
But the step is largely symbolic. Beam said that it would purchase print and broadcast advertisements only in outlets where at least 75 percent of the audience is above the legal drinking age. The self-imposed industry standards of the two major alcohol trade groups, the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States and the Beer Council, is 70 percent. Plus, Beam’s products skew toward older drinkers.
In a way, since Beam makes neither beer nor alcopops, its move is somewhat akin to the Mini Cooper agreeing to fuel efficiency standards while sport utility vehicle makers remained mum.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.