Anheuser-Busch, the nation's top brewer, and home to brands like Budweiser and
Michelob, has decided to stop airing beer ads on MTV in an effort to prove to
critics that it's serious about not target-marketing youthful (read:underage)
drinkers. USA Today reports that the beer giant will continue to air ads
on MTV's older-skewing sister station, VH1.
The MTV account added up to
less than $2 million of Anheuser's $534 million in advertising expenses last
year. Critics are calling the move an unusually public one, suggesting it is
the first time a brewer has made an announcement about not advertising
on a network, especially since it comes just a few weeks after the
widely-criticized decision by the distilled spirits industry to reverse a
self-imposed decades-long ban on broadcast liquor advertising. The paper also
reported that the Federal Trade Commission is reviewing tapes of a Schlitz Malt
Liquor ad that aired this past July during the teen drama My So-Called
Life. Joe Camel could not be reached for comment.