Addiction Community’s Influence Over Corporate Responsibility Grows

From Join Together:

Anheuser-Busch’s recent decision to pull its fruity Spykes drink mixers from the market represents the latest in a series of significant victories by the addiction field in confronting what advocates consider irresponsible marketing by big corporations.

After weeks of escalating complaints by public-health groups such as the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), the Marin Institute, Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America and the Oregon Partnership, as well as a coalition of state attorneys general, Anheuser-Busch announced on May 17 that it was withdrawing Spykes from the market. The company continued to dispute assertions that Spykes was marketed to children, but company chairman August Busch acknowledged that parental concerns played a role in the decision to yank the product.

Many of the same groups were involved in a previous (and successful) advocacy campaign that resulted in Anheuser-Busch withdrawing “Bud Pong” games from the marketplace and ending its sponsorship of “Beer Pong” tournaments. Addiction activists complained that drinking games like Bud Pong, Beer Pong, and “Shots and Ladders” encouraged binge drinking and underage alcohol use.

The campaign, launched around the Christmas holidays, resulted in retailers like Target, Kohl’s, and Linens n’ Things halting sales of these games as well as another called “Drinko,” an alcohol-fueled version of TV’s “Plinko.” The Oregon Partnership also spearheaded a campaign to get beer-related t-shirts pulled from the shelves of Macy’s stores last October.

Read the rest here.

It’s worth noting that none of the groups mention are recovery advocacy groups, they’re all prevention groups.