President demands UT colors be removed from beer can campaign

October 12, 2009 | News
By Jon Strunk

UT President Lloyd Jacobs has called on Anheuser-Busch to remove from the shelves cans of Bud Light that carry the colors of the University.

In response to the company’s recent marketing push to create “Fan Cans,” cans that carry the colors of universities across the nation, Jacobs wrote to Anheuser-Busch CEO Carlos Brito with concerns that the program undermines efforts by UT to promote responsible alcohol consumption.

“The University of Toledo is committed to educating our students on the legal and responsible use of alcohol and cannot condone a campaign wherein people under the age of 21 are implicitly encouraged to compromise their health, safety and academic success by participating in an illegal activity,” Jacobs wrote.

The president pointed out that a significant portion of the UT population is below the drinking age and said that despite the efforts of many, a large percentage of students continue to engage in high-risk drinking behaviors.

“One needs to look no further than the National Institute on Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse’s report, which estimates that 1,700 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 die each year from alcohol-related unintentional injuries, including motor vehicle crashes (about half among students under 21) for a sobering picture of the devastating effects of alcohol misuse,” Jacobs wrote.

“Addressing issues related to excessive drinking for all students is a major effort at The University of Toledo, and your ‘Fan Can’ campaign undermines our work,” he wrote.

The Associated Press has reported that dozens of colleges and universities across the nation have objected to the “Fan Can” campaign, and the company has pulled cans in many communities where objections have been raised.

Schools including the universities of Michigan, Colorado, Texas A&M and Wisconsin have all objected — some pre-emptively — to the implicit use of their colors and trademarks by Anheuser-Busch.

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