These Colors Better Run

I used to work on the Coors account and one place we absolutely could not go, creatively speaking, is to college campuses. The lawyers in Golden would have struck it down like lightning from on high. Apparently, the lawyers in St. Louis were convinced otherwise by their peers on the Bud Light team who are presently struggling to avoid the brand’s first drop in sales ever.

If you watched the Fox News segment (above) all the way through, you heard the college student parrot the phrase, “there’s no bad publicity.” Actually, there is. When the Federal Trade Commission jumps on your promotion, and universities pile on to fight you, you’re in trouble.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Janet Evans, a senior FTC attorney who oversees alcohol advertising, says the federal agency has “grave concern” that the campaign could encourage underage and binge drinking on college campuses. Dozens of schools have protested the promotion, with some threatening legal action over trademark issues (again the students are wrong–using a brand’s colors without prior approval can be ruled a trademark violation).



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.