Last week AB Inbev, the company behind such brands as Jupiler, Stella Artois, Budweiser and Beck’s, announced plans for their new Facebook initiative called Family Talk, intended to support parents seeking to educate their children about responsible drinking. The initiative kicked off in the UK but will also be launched in Germany, France and the Netherlands. Instead of advice based on scientific evidence, the Family Talk Facebook page will contain tips from other parents.

The initiative is based on research by polls conducted by research company Populus. These polls concluded that the currently most respected source of advice for parents educating their children about alcohol is other parents. Furthermore, Populus found that 82% of their respondents considered a website where parents could share tips and suggestions from their own experiences to be the most useful resource. To that end AB Inbev reached out to Mumsnet a British website where parents share information with each other. The Family Talk page contains a number of the best tips submitted by parents on Mumsnet.

In a reply to British marketing and media website The Drum, co-founder of Mumsnet Carrie Longton, said: “Working out what to say when you’re trying to talk to your kids about alcohol and responsible drinking can be difficult. As with every aspect of parenting nobody has all the answers so we’re encouraging parents to speak to each other. Parents on Mumsnet are always getting advice and support from each other and it’s good to see AB InBev UK realising the value of parents sharing experiences and information.”

While it’s encouraging that AB Inbev seems to be concerned about the drinking behavior of children, it is regrettable that this initiative overlooks any and all scientific studies about communication between parents and children about alcohol usage. Furthermore, it’s a shame that AB Inbev is not tackling the availability of alcohol to minors and is not taking further steps to protect minors from exposure to alcohol marketing.

Source: The Drum 09/23/11

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