Call us old-fashioned, but we remember when the alcohol industry policed itself to keep unsavory marketing from ever seeing the light of day. And in those few instances where an alcohol marketer stepped over the line, the federal government was an intimidating presence. The Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (BATF) was the watchdog agency, and the dog had teeth. This little red ball proves those days are long gone.
This deaf ear to responsible labeling combined with the "Buzz" brand name will make it difficult for another marketer to unseat BuzzBallz from the irresponsible-marketing #1 spot. The shopliftable sizing, pop-top packaging, and of course, the high alcohol level vault this brand into irresponsible-legend territory.
The good citizens who conceived and market BuzzBallz have yet to create a television commercial, preferring to concentrate on alternative and social media. Maybe they'll add a low-media-budget bumper sticker with a simple statement of exactly what their product's all about:
With the growth of their beer brands sluggish at best, BigBeer's search for new volume has already gone from fruit-flavored malt beverages like hard lemonade to Bud Light Lime-a-Ritas and Mixxtails. And with alcoholic root beer and other soda-pop flavors reportedly now being formulated by MillerCoors and others, BuzzBallz will be closely watched. Its unvarnished appeal to the youngest alcohol consumers could prove as irresistible to BigBeer as it is to a 17 year-old.
With the watchdog federal regulators soundly asleep, BigBeer could be tempted to move closer to the irresponsibility line.
We can only hope they have the balls to resist that temptation.