Did you know that words can have more than one meaning? Pretty elementary stuff, you’d think. Unless, of course, you can use ignorance to create propaganda for your cause. This one might be funny, if it wasn’t presented so seriously. I can almost understand that the kids of Roseburg, Oregon might be confused, but their parents and the Marin Institute should feel at least a little embarrassed.
Here’s what happened. The Marin Institute today accused Anheuser-Busch InBev of targeting families by advertising “Family Packs” of beer for sale around the town of Roseburg. A youth group there, apparently confused, sent photos of the ads to the Marin Institute who promptly went on the attack.
Here’s some of the rhetoric inspired by these ads:
“We knew that the Anheuser-Busch InBev marketing team was willing to stoop low, but this time they’ve really outdone themselves.”
“Cheaper than Capri Sun, it makes a perfect addition to a brownbag lunch for preschoolers and teenagers alike!”
And here’s the final volley:
How does Anheuser-Busch InBev think they can get away with this? Maybe they figure if they keep it in local communities, next to your kids’ school (as opposed to say, on national TV during the Super Bowl), they won’t get caught. All the while, of course, proclaiming all the wonderful work they do to counter underage drinking with useless educational brochures. Sorry, Bud – you’re not fooling anyone.
Except that ABI isn’t advertising “Family Packs,” they’re advertising “24 Pack Cubes” and “30 Packs” of the “Bud Family” and “Busch Family.” Notice in the Bud ad, the two statements are on separate lines, “Bud Family” on one line, then “24 Pack Cubes” on the second. By “Bud Family,” ABI means the family of products under the “Budweiser label, which are:
The Bud Family
- Bud Light
- Budweiser Select
- Bud Light Lime
- Bud Light Golden Wheat
In the Busch ad, it’s on three lines. In this case, it includes the following beers:
The Busch Family
- Busch Light
- Busch Ice
Nobody’s trying to fool anybody. The ads are pretty clear if you know how to read and understand what words mean in context. Somebody really needs to buy the Marin Institute a copy of Eat, Shoots & Leaves. I don’t know the ages of the kids in the local “youth group,” so I can forgive them, but at some point an adult they encountered should have had enough book learning to point this out to them.
As to the fact that they accuse ABI of being “willing to stoop low” and declare “this time they’ve really outdone themselves,” all I can do is shake my head and think — yet again — this is such a perfect example of “the pot calling the [brew] kettle black.”