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Philanthropy or Marketing?

Anheuser-Busch have given the University of Mississippi $300,000 to combat alcohol abuse on the campus. The money would continue a “social norming” research project begun more than three years ago, officials said Friday.

This is a pretty classic example of cause marketing, unique only in that the cause it takes on is one that could potentially hurt its business. Is this simply the price to pay for being a responsible corporate citizen?

Not exactly, says Tupelo physician Dr. J. Edward Hill, past president of the American Medical Association. He “frequently warned against partnering with the alcohol industry,when he headed the Ole Miss Alcohol Task Force from October 2006 to January 2007.” According to The Sun Herald article :

“He said social norming advertising is popular with alcohol companies in part because it has often shown to boost their market share.”

College students will always drink, but educating them on the dangers of abusing alcohol is very important for the health. What do you think: does branding those health messages with the Anheuser-Busch logo help students choose them when choosing which beer to drink?

About Katie

the editor of Find Funding. Her writing about grants & nonprofits has been published in Charity Channel's Grants & Foundation Review and NONPROFIT WORLD.

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