MillerCoors removing caffeine, other stimulants from Sparks
MillerCoors is yanking the caffeine kick from its popular Sparks alcoholic drinks.
The beer giant is backing away from combos of alcohol and stimulants in the face of allegations by a number of state attorneys general and consumer groups that it was targeting underage drinkers, the WSJ reports.
The joint venture of SABMiller and Molson Coors Brewing will voluntarily tone down the formula of Sparks to remove caffeine, taurine, guarana and ginseng, and it has agreed not to produce alcohol-caffeine combos in the future, MillerCoors said in a press release. The company highlighted its willingness to "listen to societal partners and consider changes to our business to reinforce our commitment to alcohol responsibility," and noted the agreement with the AGs contained no finding that MillerCoors acted unlawfully or marketed Sparks to youngsters.
Still, the AGs noted in their own statement that MillerCoors has also agreed to "cease particular marketing themes that appeal to underage youth, eliminating advertisements that feature a bright orange-stained tongue and not renewing its contract with William Ocean, an air guitar champion who does a back flip onto an opened can of Sparks at all of his shows." They add MillerCoors will discontinue its Sparks Web site, "which looks like it was created by a college freshman." [Wall Street Journal]