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5/18/2005

 
Hip-Hop Superstar Nelly and Anheuser-Busch Put a Fresh Mix on Underage-Drinking Prevention

Company's Latest Celebrity Responsibility Ad Sends Strong Message to Parents

ST. LOUIS, May 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Anheuser-Busch (NYSE:BUD) is striking a chord with parents on underage-drinking prevention by collaborating with hip- hop artist Nelly on a new ad that emphasizes the important role parents play in helping teens make smart, responsible choices about not drinking.

In the :30 ad titled "Who Am I?", Nelly admits that, at first glance, some of the parents watching may not recognize him as a hip-hop icon, so he helps them eliminate what his profession might be by humorously pretending to be a chef, a boxer, and a golfer. After failing in those roles, he notes that contemporary adult fans know him as one of America's hottest music stars, but when it comes to teens, he reminds parents, "Your kids are your biggest fans, so talk with them about underage drinking." Created by DDB Chicago, "Who Am I?" will debut Wednesday, May 18 during Law and Order on NBC.

"Underage drinking is a serious issue, and working with parents to address this problem is the responsible thing to do," says Nelly in response to why he teamed up with Anheuser-Busch on this project. "It's very important for parents to talk with their children about everything, and underage-drinking prevention is definitely one of those things you need to jump on early."

According to the 2004 Roper Youth Report, a nationally representative survey of teens (ages 13-17), 75 percent reported their parents are the primary influence in their decisions about whether or not they drink alcohol.

"We're very excited to work with a music star like Nelly to help focus attention on the power parents have in preventing teens from drinking," states John Kaestner, vice president of Consumer Affairs for Anheuser-Busch Companies, Inc. "Responsibility matters, and we want to encourage parents to remind their teens that underage drinking is not only wrong, it's against the law."

The good news is that most teens are heeding the message. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports that 71 percent of underage youth (ages 12-20) -- more than 26 million -- are doing the right thing by not drinking. According to a study recently released by the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, all measures of teen alcohol use have dropped significantly from 1998 to 2004. Additionally, the number of fatalities in teen drunk- driving crashes has declined by 60 percent since 1982, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.

The spot with Nelly marks the debut of Anheuser-Busch's third responsibility ad this year, following an underage-drinking prevention spot featuring company Chairman August A. Busch III that debuted in January and a designated driver spot with Cedric "The Entertainer" that aired on the Super Bowl in February.

This latest commercial continues Anheuser-Busch's 20-year tradition of promoting responsibility through television advertising. In 1985, Anheuser- Busch was the first alcohol beverage company to air a responsibility ad on network television. In that spot, Los Angeles Dodger Steve Garvey reminded individuals to "Know When to Say When." And for the past two decades, Anheuser-Busch has continued to integrate creative messaging with celebrities in television ads featuring such spokespeople as John Schneider, Patrick Ewing, Dan Marino, George Strait, Oscar de la Hoya, Wayne Gretzky, Dale Earnhardt Jr., *NSYNC, and Tim McGraw to promote responsibility, encourage the use of designated drivers, and help parents prevent underage drinking.

In addition to celebrating 20 years of responsibility television advertising, the investment by Anheuser-Busch and its 600 independent wholesalers nationwide in these efforts has now reached more than a half- billion dollars since the company introduced its "Know When to Say When" community-based programs in 1982. More information is available at http://www.beeresponsible.com/ .

Source: Anheuser-Busch

CONTACT: Alissa Pinck, +1-212-725-4500, ext. 315, apinck@schwartz.com ,
or Steve Mastorakos, +1-314-765-7286, steve.mastorakos@anheuser-busch.com ,
both for Anheuser-Busch

Web site: http://www.beeresponsible.com/




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