Lynn M. Walding, Administrator
e - NEWS
August 15, 2003
Until recently, what most people knew about rum could be stuffed into a
dead man’s chest with plenty of room left for a pirate’s yo-ho-hos. But
that is changing as rum, once a bit player on the cocktail circuit, is
assuming center stage at the bottom of a snifter.
Until recently, what most people knew about rum could be stuffed into a
dead man’s chest with plenty of room left for a pirate’s yo-ho-hos.
that is changing as rum, once a bit player on the cocktail circuit, is
assuming center stage at the bottom of a snifter.
The beverage, which achieved much of its current fame
when paired with its sidekick Coke, is going solo thanks to the emergence of
the fine aged variety of the spirit.
At the Bahama Breeze chain of restaurants, there are
29 rums available, from the everyday (Bacardi) to the premium (Mount Gay and
Appleton Estate, fine aged rums). Given Bahama Breeze’s tropical theme and the
fact that rum originated in the Caribbean hundreds of years ago, rum’s
popularity is not surprising, says manager Mark Setterington at a Phoenix
franchise of the restaurant.
“Rum flies off the shelves,” he says. “It’s very
Rum is the latest hard liquor to achieve barroom
stardom, following single malt scotch, single barrel whiskey and fine aged
tequila into the VIP area.
Not bad for a drink that was once to pirates what
Gatorade is to athletes. For much of its history, rum had been considered the
rot-gut of the seven seas, distilled since the 17th century when it was found
that molasses (a byproduct of the sugar industry) fermented when left in the
Its shelf life was beyond that of beer and bread,
making it a popular post-pillaging beverage on pirate ships, though it was a
staple on most long voyages.
But rum is shedding its reputation as the shortest
distance between sobriety and drunkenness. The finer rums, some old enough to
drink themselves, are designed to be sipped solo, not blended into a pina
colada, says wine and spirits salesman Mike Fine.
“People are more discerning, more knowledgeable,”
Fine says. “They drink to enhance their experience, not to get drunk. They want
quality, and those who make rum are catching on to that and are finally
offering a premium product.”
Rum selections ranges from Bacardi at $12 a bottle to
Appleton Estate or Cruzan rum retailing for $70 to $80 a bottle. Some rums,
says Fine, can go up to $250 a bottle.
The key to a fine rum is in the aging, Fine says. Oak
barrels are the preferred method, with some rums aging 21 years before being
But this doesn’t mean the fun has gone out of rum. At
The Drift, a Polynesian restaurant and lounge in Scottsdale, Ariz., rum drinks
are dressed up with umbrellas and pineapple spears. One rum-spiked concoction,
the hoti, is served in a ceramic Buddha.
“We wanted to bring the fun and cheesiness back to
it,” says Drift owner Brian Chittenden. “We do a hell of a lot of business in
rum. There’s a resurgence because rum drinks are very tasty and you can drink
them all night.”
Just look out for the alcoholic content. Some rums
are 151 proof (that’s 75.5 percent alcohol).
2. Eateries Vocalize Liability Worries
By Tom Saul – Quad City Times
August 13, 2003
DAVENPORT - An impending hike in the amount of dram-shop
insurance did not seem to rattle most bar and restaurant owners who turned out
for a hearing Tuesday in Davenport to voice opinions on how state dram shop
laws should be changed.
Of more concern was how they are held liable for
injuries and damages when a patron who has been served an alcoholic beverage at
their establishments later has a traffic accident.
Too much of the burden is heaped on bar and
restaurant owners, even if the patron stopped elsewhere to drink after leaving
their establishments or went to a liquor store or a private home to drink, some
of the owners said.
“They (patrons) don’t even really have to prove that
they were in our establishments,” said Doni DeNucci, president and chief
executive officer for the Iowa Hospitality Association, a lobbying group for
food and beverage servers. “It’s almost like the burden is on us to prove they
As of Sept. 1, the Iowa Alcoholic Beverage Commission
will require those who hold state liquor licenses to increase the amount of
dram-shop insurance they carry by as much as five-fold. The agency is also
preparing a report that will recommend reforms in Iowa’s dram-shop laws to the
governor and legislators.
Those who hold Iowa liquor licenses are required to
carry dram-shop insurance in addition to any general liability coverage they
have, said Lynn Walding, administrator of the commission. It covers injuries
and damages sustained by third parties who have been involved in accidents with
patrons who have been served alcohol at bars and restaurants.
“This is dram-shop reform, not repeal,” Walding said.
“The new dram-shop coverage will increase rates for establishments. I think
most of them accept that they have some responsibility. Their concerns are how
the mechanism works that holds them liable.”
Grocery stores, liquor stores and others that sell
alcoholic beverages for off-premises consumption are not required to carry the
That in itself is unfair, said Jim Clayton, a former
bar owner who is now involved with the University of Iowa’s Stepping Up
Coalition, a group that promotes responsible alcohol use. Some off-premises
sales establishments mean for alcohol to be drunk immediately after purchase,
“You go into a convenience store and alcohol is sold
by the can, ready to drink and ice cold,” he said. “The message they are
sending is buy it and drink it in your car.”
Jerry Fleagle, president of the Iowa Grocery Industry
Association, which represents grocers, convenience stores and other retailers,
said his members oppose any change in state law that would require them to
carry dram-shop insurance. They have no control over what happens to alcohol
once a customer buys it and leaves their store, he said.
But Bart Baker, of Frontier Management Group, which
runs hotels with restaurants that serve alcohol in eastern Iowa, said those
that sell alcohol for on-premises consumption often unfairly are penalized for
selling a customer a drink.
He cited a case where a woman was served a drink at
one of his hotels, left and went to another establishment to drink and then
drank on private property with friends before she was involved in an
early-morning car wreck. Her minor son sued the hotel.
“The suit was not successful, but ultimately we were
held responsible because our insurance carrier dropped us as a client,” Baker
said. “We were held responsible because we served her a drink at 7 p.m.”
Terry Lunardi, owner of Lunardi’s Italian Restaurant
in Davenport, said the increased requirement for dram-shop coverage comes on
the heels of action by the Davenport City Council to raise the cost of liquor
licenses. The city hike was part of a budget-balancing measure approved by
aldermen last week.
“I’ll just add it to overhead,” he said. “It’s
something I’ll just have to deal with. It’s the cost of doing business.”
Owners Fight Over Adult Club’s Opening
August 10, 2003
DAVENPORT - Amy Marie Miller of Moline says she
wants to open Davenport’s newest adult cabaret. On applications for liquor
and adult entertainment licenses, she lists herself as the sole owner of what
will be called The Links Gentlemen’s Club.
But the owners of another Davenport topless dance
club, Daisy Dooks, claim that Miller’s dentist husband, Thomas J. Roemer, is
really the force behind the club and that Miller is “acting as a ‘straw
person’ for Mr. Roemer in connection with his efforts to open a competing
club,” court documents state.
Daisy Dooks’ parent company, Entertainment Tonite,
has filed suit in both Scott County District Court and federal court to block
the opening of The Links.
As a former partner in Entertainment Tonite, Roemer
signed an agreement that bars him from opening another adult club within 30
miles of Daisy Dooks, the lawsuit states. The new club would be about two
miles from Daisy Dooks, which is on West 83rd Street.
“Mr. Roemer has caused to be formed a limited
liability company named Status LLC to purchase real estate and to finance
construction of a building in which to house the competing business,” an
affidavit Daisy Dooks partner Michael Speer filed with the suit states.
Status LLC holds the deed for the site of The
Links, 643 E. 59th St., city property records show. The company bought it in
February from former owners D&S Building Co. and Dummermuth Investments
But a liquor-license application for the club lists
Miller as the sole owner. She also lists herself as the sole corporate
representative of Magic Properties LLC on a city application for an
adult-establishment business license.
Tighter regulation of adult clubs enacted by
Davenport aldermen in 2001 requires corporate-license applicants to list the
names of and other information about all directors, officers and managers of
the firm, as well as information about those controlling more than 50 percent
of voting shares.
“Mr. Roemer has created a legal labyrinth of
entities that tries to obscure his intent, but we believe that he is involved
with the club,” said Steven Warbasse, a Cedar Rapids, Iowa, lawyer who filed
the suits on behalf of Daisy Dooks’ owners. “I’m in possession of documents
that indicate clearly his involvement, but I’m not at liberty to give you
details at this time.”
He described Roemer as a former partner in Daisy
Dooks who, along with three other associates, signed the noncompete agreement
so none of them would “bolt and open up a competing business nearby.”
Roemer said the suit is being orchestrated by
Speer, who he said is a partner in and the general manager of Daisy Dooks. He
declined further comment, referring other questions to his attorney, Steven
Jacobs of Davenport, and to Miller.
Miller could not be reached for comment by the QUAD-CITY
TIMES. Jacobs did not return repeated calls from the Times to his office.
The city’s legal department does not routinely
check the accuracy of information on liquor and adult business license
applications, Corporation Counsel Mary Thee said.
“We don’t do a legal review unless there is a
question,” she said.
The police department conducts criminal background
checks on applicants for liquor and adult business licenses. Law requires
applicants to list criminal offenses. Adult-business license applicants also
must submit fingerprints.
Miller listed two misdemeanor offenses on her
liquor-license application. Both occurred in Iowa and, in both cases, she
paid a fine. One of the offenses was a 1999 arrest in Dallas County, Iowa,
for indecent exposure.
According to police and court documents, Miller was
among 11 dancers at an adult club called Beach Girls in rural West Des Moines
who were arrested during a raid after undercover officers observed them
exposing their breasts in violation of local laws.
Sgt. Mike Ficcola, a spokesman for the West Des
Moines police, said that aside from the 1999 raid, Beach Girls was not a
consistent trouble spot.
“In the past 90 days, we’ve made four trips out
there, and three were for alarms,” he said. “We give it regular patrols, so
maybe that’s why we don’t see much trouble there.”
Sgt. Joe Palmer recommended approval of Miller’s
liquor-license application after Davenport police reviewed it. He was
unavailable for comment when the Times attempted to contact him. The City
Council’s Public Safety Committee is scheduled to review the license Thursday
and decide whether to recommend it to the full council.
Under Iowa law, liquor licenses must win local
approval before they go on to the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division for final
approval, said Lynn Walding, the agency’s administrator. Non-alcohol-related
misdemeanors are not likely to delay or block issuance of a license.
However, part of Iowa’s liquor laws requires
applicants to be of “good moral character,” Walding said. The agency also
takes a dim view of applicants who are not truthful. If inaccurate
information is discovered on an application, that is grounds to revoke or
deny a license, he said.
Based on the dispute between Roemer and the owners
of Daisy Dooks as outlined in the lawsuits, Warbasse said he would “not be
surprised” if information on Miller’s applications was found to be untrue.
4. Underage Drinking Study Biased, Critics Say
By John Heys -The Charleston Gazette
August 7, 2003
CHARLESTON - More than 130 federal lawmakers,
including Rep. Nick J. Rahall, have said they're worried that a study underway on
underage drinking could hurt the alcoholic beverage industry.
Their concerns, expressed in a June letter, joined
those of an industry group alleging that the report's authors are biased and
haven't considered beverage industry efforts to discourage minors from
The National Academy of Sciences is conducting the
study at Congress' request and with $500,000 in federal funding. Last year,
Congress asked the NAS to come up with a cost-effective way to reduce and
prevent underage drinking. That includes reviewing efforts by the government
The NAS stands by the researchers and their report,
which is under review and due out late this month or next.
In 2001, about 29 percent of people between the ages of
12 and 20 - about 10.1 million people - said they used alcohol in the past
month, according to a national survey by the U.S. Health and Human Services
Almost 3 million people in this age group were
dependent on or had abused alcohol in the past, the survey said.
The National Beer Wholesalers Association worries the
findings could be used to justify increases in taxes on alcoholic beverages and
limits on advertising.
The lawmakers' letter said the report wasn't meant to
be used as "a primer of suggested policy changes intended to adversely
affect the beverage industry."
In a statement released by his office, Rahall,
D-W.Va., said the NAS was instructed to find a strategy to "resolve
"When they stray from that mandate," he said,
"they need to be called on the carpet."
The beer wholesalers' political action committee gave
$500 to Rahall's campaigns for Congress in 1998 and $3,000 in 2002, according
to the Federal Election Commission's Web site.
The PAC also gave to campaigns for Rep. Shelley Moore
Capito, R-W.Va., and Rep. Alan Mollohan, D-W.Va., but neither signed the June
letter to the NAS, staff in their Washington offices said.
NBWA President David Rehr sent a letter to lawmakers
in May about the association's concerns with the NAS study.
Rehr and officials with the Beer Institute and the
Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America also sent a joint letter to NAS
president Bruce Alberts outlining the industry concerns about the scope and
objectivity of the report.
The researchers and experts working on the report
went through a thorough review and public comment period before being selected,
said NAS spokeswoman Vaneé Vines. That included checking for potential
conflicts of interest, she said.
"We have a very rigorous checks-and-balance
system," she said.
The beer wholesalers' group disagrees. Many of the
researchers are tied to what spokeswoman Michelle Semones called
"anti-alcohol groups," including the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
"You can't say they don't come to the table with
some bias," she said. "It's obvious that some of these panelists come
with preconceived notions."
The report's panelists haven't considered the
beverage industry's efforts to clamp down on underage drinking, such as
public-service announcements and bringing speakers to schools, Semones said.
Not true, the NAS says.
"Those programs were definitely
considered," Vines said. Independent scholarly experts are reviewing the
NAS report, but Vines said she couldn't comment on the reports recommendations.
The NAS often gets letters when it deals with
controversial subjects, such as global warming, Vines said. Despite the
controversy, the NAS will stick to its mandate and mission, she said:
"We're focusing on the science."
By NATIVES – The New York Times
July 31, 2003
NEW YORK - With the widely
criticized “Cat Fight” campaign for Miller Lite now discontinued, fans of racy
advertising may find themselves flipping channels this summer and muttering,
Where have all the fun-loving buxom beer drinkers gone?
For a time, it seems, the fans will have to keep searching. While Miller Lite readies its next campaign, the latest ads for beers like Red Stripe and Heineken play down sex appeal in favor of elements like – gasp – the quality of the product.
Only months ago, Bud Light and
Coors Light were running commercials featuring full-figured twins and various
erotic storylines. And then there
was “Cat Fight” with two barely dressed women who wrestle to settle their argument
about which is Miller Lite’s greater attribute, “tastes great” or “less
The sexually charged ads of the
big of the big brewers earlier in the year were meant to speak to a big,
diverse customer base, said Mary Pugh, president at the SoNo Group in Norwalk,
Conn., a marketing consultancy.
The ads reflect the busineesses’ need to fight off all manner of
competitors – including microbrews and imports – that have a more sharply
defined brand identity, she added.
“This naked lady stuff is just
something for these guys to get some attention with,” Ms. Pugh said, referring
to the biggest beer marketers. “I
find it to be an overreaction to the boutique beers.”
Indeed, the smaller brands are
playing up their unique attributes.
Red Stripe, for example, recently began running a two-minute commercial
that emphasizes the beer’s Jamaican origin without a single shot of young
beachgoers in bikinis.
“We actually do have a Jamaican
woman in one of our ads, but she’s 65 years old,” said Gerry Graf, executive
creative director at BBDO Worldwide in New York, the agency for Red
Stripe. BBDO is part of the
Omnicom Group. Red Stripe is
distributed by Diageo.
Although sex can indeed sell, Mr.
Graf said, it is not enough on its own to generate awareness for an
up-and-coming brand of beer. “For
a smaller brand coming in, you have to stay away from that just to avoid
blending in,” he said.
In the case of Heineken, marketers
decided that satire might prove more effective than sex appeal. Last week, the company began running a
spot intended to make fun of its rivals; the view pans from what initially
looks like a beer-fueled rooftop party packed with models to reveal that the
whole scene is, in fact, the set of a beer commercial.
Labatt Blue this summer is continuing
a campaign built around a man in a bear suit who rarely, if ever, seems likely
to ogle twins (as occurs in Coors Light commercials).
“There’s no lack of good-looking
women that the bar is around,” said Devin Kelly, director for marketing for
Canadian brans at Labatt USA. “But
we’re always careful that it’s very inclusive. It’s never done at the expense of women.” Labatt is a joint
venture of the Labatt Brewing Company, part of Interbrew, and FEMSA Cerveza.
A new campaign from Rainier Beer
in Seattle, part of Pabst Brewing, taps into the activist tradition that many
local residents feel, said Jim Haven, a principal and creative director at
Creature in Seattle, which made the ads.
Billboards and radio spots encourage consumers to have a barbecue, or
simply drink more beer, and are attributed to “Citizens for a More Rainier
“Rainier isn’t asking you to count
fish or live in trees,” one radio spot says. “They’re just asking you to stock a cooler or throw a block
Smaller brands sometimes have more
leeway in their advertising because consumers are more likely to believe that
there is something unique or different about the brand than if a top-seller
made a similarly quirky claim, said Ms. Pugh, the consultant.
While executives at Miller said
that “Cat Fight” had incorporated more parody than critics gave it credit for,
they said the attention it generated laid the groundwork for a less sexual sell
the next time around.
“The Miller Lite ‘Cat Fight” spots
really opened the door for us to revisit our product quality and tell that
story again,” said Scott Bussen, a spokesman at Miller Brewing in Milwaukee,
part of SABMiller. “To tell people
why we’re the best beer out there.”
6. Coors Sees Increase in Q2 Earnings
By Janet Forgrieve - Rocky
July 25, 2003
GOLDEN - A temporary drop in its
tax rate helped Golden-based Adolph Coors Co. increase its second-quarter
earnings, despite softer U.S. beer sales.
the nation's third-largest brewer, reported earnings of $76.3 million, or $2.09
per share, on sales of $1.5 billion for the 13-week period ended June 29,
compared with $67.6 million, or $1.84 per share, on revenue of $1.4 billion in
the same period last year.
The company sold 9.1
million barrels of beer during the period, up 2 percent from the 8.9 million
barrels sold during the second quarter of 2002.
a conference call with analysts Thursday, Coors blamed slower sales growth on a
combination of factors including cooler weather leading into the summer and the
continued economic downturn.
addition, unemployment among men age 21 to 29, the core target market for Coors
Light, is at its highest in a decade, said Coors Brewing Chief Executive
Officer Leo Kiely.
impact of the weak economy on our business can be seen from several
angles," Kiely said. "On- premise volume trends (beer consumed in
bars and restaurants) have been especially weak this year, as consumers have
reduced their discretionary spending."
of packaged goods made up for part of that loss, he said, but not all of it.
company continues to struggle with its key Coors Light brand," Goldman,
Sachs & Co. analyst Marc Cohen said in a report. "This company appears
to be having more difficulty managing through the challenging beer industry
atmosphere than we envisioned."
of less expensive Keystone Light grew by double digits during the quarter,
company said overall U.S. sales in July were improving, without being more specific.
The Associated Press and
Bloomberg News contributed to this report.
By Jon Bonne – MSNBC
July 23, 2003
One of the most popular
campaigns to curb alcohol use on campus hasn’t reduced student drinking and may
actually have increased it, according to a new report from the Harvard School
of Public Health’s College Alcohol Study.
The findings clash with results that claim significant drops in risky
drinking at some of the nation’s largest universities.
THE NEW RESEARCH targets “social
norms” marketing campaigns, which aim to lower drinking levels by telling students
that their peers actually consume far less than they might think. The campaigns have claimed success at
some of the largest universities in the nation, such as the University of
Virginia and the University of North Carolina.
But the Harvard study, funded by
the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, found students were drinking just as much
at schools that implemented social norms programs, and often were drinking
“It’s simple, it’s cheap, it makes
everybody look good. It makes the
college look good because it says there’s less drinking there than people
think, says Henry Wechsler, director of the Harvard study. “The only problem is, it doesn’t seem
College drinking is pervasive,
with 80 percent or more of students consuming alcohol. But the real issue is heavy
consumption, or binge drinking, when students chug down numerous drinks on a
single occasion. The National
Household Survey on Drug Abuse reports some one in five Americans between the
ages of 12 and 20 are binge drinkers, nearly 7 million people. And six in 10 men between 18 and 25
engage in “heavy episodic drinking” at least once a month, according to a
Centers for Disease Control study.
(Definitions vary as to how many drinks qualify as binge drinking.)
Social norms efforts often target
students who are tempted to drink to excess, and are used on many campuses with
high drinking rates. They include
a broad array of posters and ads – even cards on a student’s 21st
birthday – underscoring that most students drink modestly. Campaigns use basic messages that
underscore responsibility and praise good behavior: “Most MSU students have 5
or fewer drinks per week,” said one campaign at Michigan State University;
“Most U of A students are safe when they drink,” said a poster at the
University of Arizona.
A Harvard survey of college
administrators found nearly half had social norms programs at their
schools. And students are aware of
the messages, according to the study.
Nearly 75 percent at schools using the programs had seen the posters or
But the problem with these
programs, Wechsler says, is that many students perceive a disconnect between
what they’re told and their social realities. “These students are not stupid, they’re college students. They see what’s going on,” he says.
The study evaluated 37 schools
that used social norms campaigns and 61 that didn’t, and measured seven student
drinking behaviors, from casual to heavy drinking. Five of the seven behaviors showed no decline over time at
schools that implemented the programs.
Two behaviors – drinking within the past month and consuming 20 or more
drinks within the past 30 days – showed increases at schools that used the
social norms programs. Schools
without the programs showed little change in behaviors, according to the study,
published in the July issue of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol.
The creators of social norms
efforts dismiss the Harvard study, pointing to numerous case studies at schools
where social norms programs have dramatically reduced drinking hazards. The University of Arizona reported a 28
percent decline in binge drinking; First year students at the University of
Virginia reduced their alcohol intake from three drinks a week to one.
Part of the problem, they say, is
that a social norm plan must follow certain standards, with specific market
research and tailoring of a program’s message to fit a particular school. They suggest Wechsler’s study allowed
schools to say there were social norms users even if they lacked a formal
“That’s not real solid science,”
says Michael Haines, director of the National Social Norms Resource
Center. “To this day, as we stand
here, this is the most effective program in the country. It has more data to show its efficacy
than any other program out there.
Located at Northern Illinois
University – one of the first schools to adopt social norming – Haines’ center
helps colleges around the country develop their own programs. Rather than preaching a specific
message, he says, the goal is to tailor messages to a local environment. Because of that, he says, messages have
been tailored to everything from sex and smoking to filing taxes. “Social norms is not an approach that
automatically means … abstinence or moderation,” he says. “We identify their healthy behaviors
and grow more of it by feeding it back to them.”
The Harvard study takes issue with
a number of the success stories forwarded by Haines and his co-workers,
suggesting many studies are not peer-reviewed and most focus on results at just
one school. Though results have
varied at the many schools that implemented full programs, most seem willing to
stick with it.
“I’m very committed to the concept
of social norming,” says Kim Dude, director of the Wellness Resource Center at
the University of Missouri – Columbia.
“It’s very important that students understand that most of their peers
are making good choices.”
Her campus has used the program
for five years, she says, with notable declines in heavy alcohol use and drunk
driving. But that strategy is part
of a larger plan to reduce drinking risks – including free taxis for drinking
students and heavier crackdowns by campus police. (A new campaign this fall suggests students become less
attractive to a date when they smoke or drink.)
While social norming has been key
to the strategy, Dude says, different students are motivated in different
ways. Positive messages work for
some, but the threat of consequences might work better for others.
Another user of social norms has
been the California State University at Chico, which has long endured a
reputation as one of the nation’s wildest party schools. In social norming, Chico saw a chance
to reverse its reputation among its own students.
“That reputation is really one of
our major problems,” says Walt Schafer, a longtime sociology professor at Chico
who has served as the university’s point person on alcohol issues.
Chico’s experiment with social
norming was prompted two years ago after two students died in drinking-related
incidents. In student surveys, the
university has yet to see any notable reduction in students’ alcohol use. But a federally funded program of
voluntary breath testing at Chico has shown an 11 percent drop among first-year
students with detectable blood alcohol levels, and first-years are down from
6.8 drinks a week to 5.8.
As with their Missouri
counterparts, Chico officials see social norms as one part of a broader
strategy, which includes alcohol-free events, increasing students’ personal
responsibility for parties with alcohol, and deals with local bars to reduce
the number of drink specials and shorten drinking hours during events like St.
“We’re following what is called in
the field an environmental management strategy,” says Schafer, “which means
that student alcohol abuse is a result of a variety of factors in the
For his part, Wechsler has been a
vocal advocate against binge drinking and has harshly criticized the social
norms programs in the past.
Critics maintain he is too stident in his approach, and has overstated
the extent of the binge-drinking problem.
But one key downside to social
norming, Wechsler says, is its assumption that any student body is a uniform
group. Instead, he says, most
students pick up drinking behaviors from their friends and those within their
direct social circle. Accordingly,
if a student spends time with people who drink a lot, he or she is more likely
to drink a lot, too. The averages
used in social norming, he suggests, have little meaning: “If you have a campus with 30,000
students, who is the average student on campus? There are many average students.”
Actually, Wechsler has advocated environmental
approaches not unlike those adopted by some social norms schools, though he
would rather focus on students’ supply of alcohol. For example, Wechsler would like to see more colleges do
what Chico did: work to limit how alcohol is sold near their campuses. If large quantities and cheap prices
were less prevalent, he argues, students would be driven to consume less. Nor, Wechsler insists, is an overall message
of responsible drinking a bad one.
“You’re never going to eliminate
it completely, nor do you want to eliminate having one drink with a pizza,” he
says. “The issue is the kind of
drinking that gets people into trouble.”
Haines is adamant, though, that
availability is less important than what students are taught normal drinking
behavior should be. And rather
than focus on their good behavior, he says, Wechsler and his team are trying to
scare kids with sky-high statistics.
“It’s the ‘don’t run with a sharp stick, you’ll poke your eye out’
approach,” he says.
In that sense, the social norms
debate returns to the classic battle of supply vs. demand. Social normers see students as mostly
well-behaved and want to curb the thirst of those who do drink too much. Their critics worry about rising
numbers on binge drinking and want to reduce the availability of alcohol.
And many schools, meanwhile, seem
to want to target both sides of the equation. Says Missouri’s Dude: “The reality is, there’s no silver
Editorial team - Just-drinks.com
August 15, 2003
Brown-Forman has settled its
dispute with Diageo over the distribution of the Jack Daniel’s Tennessee
Whiskey brand in the UK, the company announced yesterday.
The settlement agreement will see
Brown-Forman pay Diageo £8.9m (US$14.3m) to end the controversy between the
Diageo distributed Jack Daniel’s
in the UK under a contract that expired on July 31, 2002. Brown-Forman now distributes Jack
Daniel’s and its other spirits brands under a cost-sharing agreement with
However, Diageo claimed that it
had the right to extend the contract for an additional three years, based on
passing certain requirement performance standards in the contract. Diageo claimed damages from Brown-Forman
in a range of £35m to £42m for
profits it would have earned during the extension period.
Brown-Forman denied that Diageo
had met the contract extension standards and sued Diageo in the UK for a legal
declaration that it was not required to extend the contract. A trial had been scheduled for March
2004. But this settlement ends the
controversy between the parties, with each side to bear its own litigation
Brown-Forman said that its
previous earnings guidance for fiscal 2004 of $4.10 per share to $4.30 per share
did not include the full impact of the Diageo settlement. The payment to Diageo will reduce this
year’s earnings by approximately $0.11 per share.
However, the company still expects
to achieve fiscal 2004 earnings within its previously announced range.