Put a Spike through Spykes: Take new product off store shelves!

spykes1.PNG Packaged in tiny 2-ounce, multi-colored bottles and containing 12 percent alcohol, Spykes is a new malt beverage product by Anheuser-Busch that shouldn’t be sold in Oregon or anywhere else. Spykes mixes malt liquor with ginseng, caffeine and guarana extracts. It comes in four sweet flavors: Spicy Lime, Spicy Mango, Hot Melons and even Hot Chocolate.

Because they are small and easily hidden in a pocket or backpack – and inexpensive at $.99 a bottle – we are asking that if you see them in stores, request that they be taken off the shelves. We are asking our local prevention partners to forward this on to parents and school officials. These products are not recognizable as alcohol and they can easily be hidden in pockets when attending school functions or other youth activities.

We are also encouraging consumers to write letters to Anheuser-Busch in protest. Here is their address:

August A. Busch III, Chair of the Board
Anheuser-Busch Companies, Inc.
One Busch Place
St. Louis, MO 63118-1852


26 Responses to Put a Spike through Spykes: Take new product off store shelves!

  1. Pete says:

    Hopefully, distributors will realize this is not a suitable product, and get ’em out of stores and that Anheuser-Busch will stop selling products that promote underage drinking.

  2. Danny says:

    Right on Pete…we need to stop big alcohol companies from selling such rediculous products.

  3. Barry says:

    I totally agree with both of you.

  4. Susanna says:

    Anheuser-Busch calls itself a responsible company. I don’t understand what’s the motive of this contradicting behavior. I sent them an email demanding an explanation and an action plan to solve this problem. In my email, I also told them that I might start a boycott if their action plan is not satisfying.

  5. Bob says:

    This item is clearly designed for the “youth” alcohol market. Looks like big alcohol is getting bolder in their attempts to lure underage drinkers. I bet the drinking and driving fans will enjoy this unassuming looking new bottle too. Most LE officers wouldn’t look twice at it, it looks like perfume or a hotel shampoo bottle.

  6. Dianne O'Neil says:

    This is just one more way for alcohol providers to make money and lure young people into underage usage, creating even more problems for families and schools because of the packaging and small size.
    Will this never end??? Who is making the decisions to allow these products to get into the marketplace and why can’t we give feedback prior to that versus fighting it after it is here?

  7. psychos says:

    Why don’t you guys worry about explaining to your kids why you don’t want them to drink and the dangers of drinking instead. If kids want to find alcohol, they are going to find it. I’m sure you’ve heard that many times, but the fact remains; regardless of the marketing, this is just another alcholic drink. Take it off the market and there are still wine coolers, sparks, vault, mike’s hard … the list goes on and on. Try a new approach or loosen up, either way “spykes” have nothing to do with it – kids learn from their parents and parents mold their children, not busch.

    John 3:16

  8. Pete says:

    We at OP are in agreement with almost everything you say. Parents need to be consistantly talking to their kids about the dangers of underage drinking because parents have the biggest effect on their kids. Our view regarding Spykes is that the product is obviously targeted to young drinkers and as a result, should be taken off store shelves. And because the bottles are so small, it just makes it that much easier for kids to keep them around and out of sight.

  9. Ron Battista says:

    As a drug and alcohol prevention specialist I was’nt too surprised when I received information about teen use of”Spykes” from the Michigan State police. It’s a shame that Ahheuser Busch is not making enough money, so now they direct their energy to the next generation of propective drinkers. What hypocrites this company has become, advertizing their “Drink Responsibly” garbage. The wolf is guarding the hen house.

  10. Emilie says:

    Kids will drink no matter what we do!!! Their is nothing we can do to stop it…. If you want to go this route than we mise well take every fruity drink off the market!!!

  11. Taylor says:

    Hey, while we’re at it, let’s ban Smirnoff, Boone’s Farm, Zima, etc. No forget that, let’s just reinstate Prohibition! You think by taking this product off the shelves it will make it harder for teens to drink alcohol? Ha!

  12. Jesse says:

    I had never heard of this stuff before I read an article on MSN. I understand that as a parent I should worry about my kids and what they do. But come on! You people are ridiculous!!! You are the one that is responsible for your children and their actions. Your child is always going to come in contact with bad influences, but if they are raised right, they will know what is right or wrong. Whether they are targeting children to drink or not is NOT the issue here. Your child will appeal to whatever he/she thinks is cool or not. When I was in high school, everyone was drinking Captain Morgan. Not because it was in a tiny bottle that could easily be smuggled into a school function which it surely wasn’t, nor did it taste great, nor was it cheap. It was popular and that’s what the kids could get their hands on. Kids are not going to die from Spykes, get real! 6 bottles of this stuff is equivalent to a little more than 2 beers. They going to sneak 50 bottles of this stuff in their jacket pocket without someone noticing? I highly doubt that. If you really listened throughout this deal, and are still afraid that you haven’t raised your kids right, then maybe it’s time to see someone on how to become a better parent.

  13. Danny says:

    I believe what Anheiser Busch has been saying is true…parents have the most influence on their kids and parents should be talking to their kids about the dangers of underage drinking, especially binge drinking, which is what is really going on these days.

    But come on people, Anheiser Busch doesn’t need to be making “childish” drinks anymore than Phillip Morris needs to be making candy cigarettes. I am not a prohibitionist, but I just think that a company that gets 20% of their revenue from underage drinkers, doesn’t need to try and appeal to them any more than they already do.

  14. Steve says:

    I have long been a consumer of Anheuser Busch products, but this really pisses me off! Parents absolutely have to take the lead in education and establishing what is and isn’t acceptable behaviour for their own children. Parents also have to speak up and let these huge multi-national companies know that we won’t sit idly by while they target our youth.

    Oregon Partnership should invest some resources to promote a national one day boycott of all AB products. According to 2006 financials their domestic sales were $11.7billion. A $32 million dollar dip in sales from a one day boycott just might draw their attention to how serious we are. The publicity from it would actually hurt them worse. Let me know how i can help with such an effort.

  15. Meg says:

    Why dont you focus on counseling parents instead of targeting an alcohol company for what they do? I like the idea of this new product..I like the price point…get stores to keep it at the counter so its not “covienantly” stolen by your little hoodlums..I have to agree that the size does suck..but hey – its only a shot..so get off your crosses and do some actual parenting..watch/pay attention to your spawn…you have inflicted them upon the rest of us..rude and arrogant little shits that they are…why not put a leash on your brats for a change and stop trying to get the world to revolve around you…some of us practice birth control for a reason..

  16. reality says:

    why dont you all get a life. Kids will drink no matter what size , shape or color the bottle is. Geez

  17. The Muse says:

    The only thing you’re basing your “AB is marketing to the underage” type argument is the appearance. And, if you look closely, its marked on the front label, “12% alcohol by volume” – not hidden on the back. So, in proportion to the rest of the labeling, it is well marked (to answer the initial argument in the post).

    Most importantly, saying that this product should be taken off the market is another form of censorship. It is no different than saying that you don’t like the program on TV because you don’t like the message its conveying to your children. What should you do? Educate your children.

    If you simply change the channel or remove the item completely, you end up giving it more “power.” Kids see it as something taboo or exciting, therefore, making them want it more. If you take away the idea that it’s taboo, then people are less likely to abuse it.

    I was raised by two parents who occasionally drank. My dad would enjoy a beer on the weekend after mowing the lawn. My mom would have a glass of wine while cooking dinner. When I was a teenager (say around 16), my parents had already educated me on the dangers of alcohol and the reasons people drank it, they slowly allowed me to try it: a small glass of wine for a special occasion dinner, champagne at New Year’s Eve, a sip of my dad’s bailey’s and coffee on vacation.

    Yes, I drank a bit while still underage. Yes, I had much easier access to it when I went off to college. But I never was in search of a fake ID, I never abused the priviledge, unlike many of my peers. Why? I didn’t see it as a big deal.

    Education is the key, people. Speak to them like they are already adults. Don’t try and use scare tactics – most teenagers are smart enough to know that you’ll pull up the worst of the worst stories. Not the average person ones. Tell them about how DUIs affect the rest of your life. How expensive court is. How much it would suck to have their driver’s license suspended for a year or more. Teach them RESPONSIBILITY.

    Don’t punish everyone else (those over 21) who enjoy this drink by removing it from the shelves, just because you’re too lazy to teach your children.

  18. lola says:

    I agree with the other person that posted above me. I did not become aware of this product until I was introduced to it today by MSN. There are so many drinks aimed at the so called “teen market”, but real alcohol prevention is this TALKING TO YOUR KIDS. Yes, children will find a way to get alcohol, but it is parents who must explain the consequences of it’s use and abuse. I was told at an early age that whatever I do, I MUST live with my mistakes. It is this type of influence that parents need to be aware of their own power of prevention!~

  19. Pete says:

    Parents talking to their kids about alcohol is key and EFFECTIVE. But if A-B is truly responsible and cares about the crisis of underage drinking, it would not manufacture products that obviously appeal to young drinkers. Products like Spykes make it easier and more attractive for kids to drink and more difficult for their parents.

  20. Gabe says:

    Perhaps all you responsible parents out there should be spending time in your childrens lives, explaining to them the dangers of alcohol abuse, instead of meddling in the consumer choices of responsible adults.

    Most states have laws where you must be 21 to purchase alcohol. Store clerks need to be aware of these products and not sell them to minors. Its a simple, enforcable solution that does not restrict the rights of those older than 21.

  21. Rick Palmer says:

    Anheuser Busch is totally irresponsible with the development and marketing of Spykes. The manner of packaging, flavors offered and the price point more than hints the target market is obviously teenagers. The tragic results are unfortunately predictable. This is capitalistic greed gone dangerously amuck – I hope the public makes Anheuser Busch pay for such reckless behavior.

  22. Tracy says:

    Maybe if you were better parents then you would know where your children are and what they are doing the bottom line is the store that these products are in should be checking ID’s before selling ANY alchohol or tobacco products. That is a law that should be inforced and maybe if you had as much to say about that then things would be different. Underage drinking will be a problem no matter what products are out there AB promotes responsibility first and foremost so blaming them for your children drinking is rediculous maybe just insure that the store employees are doing their job.

  23. amy says:

    All of you who focus your attention on an alcoholic beverage instead of on educating THE KIDS
    should be ashamed!
    If your kid goes out and drinks- they will drink anything they can get their hands on. BEER SPYKES OR NOT!
    They could also always turn to a mini liquor bottle – which have always been sold in stores. Beer spykes are not much different than those, and they’re not as strong as many drinks sold in ANY convenience store- without protest. Take a look next time you’re there…you may see a can which looks like a regular energy drink. It’s actually an alcoholic energy drink…very similar to spykes.
    You idiots neeD a dose of R E A L I T Y- kids will drink if they are determined to do it…and pulling beer spykes off the shelves will NOT solve any problem. If you activists and parents want to make a difference, why not focus your energies ON THE KIDS INSTEAD OF ON THE ALCOHOL!!!!!!!!!
    And why don’t you put your energy into positive things- educating them. By making such a huge deal about this product, you may be doing exactly what you are trying to avoid. You are bringing great attention to products such as these, if anything- you may just be making them that much more appealiing to law breaking and risk taking teens.
    WAKE UP PEOPLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    What’s next? Prohibition? And on that note- does anyone remember what happened during the time Prohibition?? HA!! People WANTED IT MORE THAN EVER.

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