Tilt, Bud Extra off the shelves

Goddard says caffeinated alcohol beverages a threat to youth

KINGMAN - Attorney General Terry Goddard announced Thursday a settlement with Anheuser-Busch to discontinue selling its two pre-mixed alcoholic energy drinks.

"I am pleased that Anheuser-Busch has agreed to stop making and promoting these drinks," Goddard said in a news release. "They present a significant health and safety risk for America's youth, and I hope other manufacturers will take similar steps to remove dangerous beverages from the market."

Beyond discontinuing Tilt and Bud Extra, Anheuser-Busch agreed not to produce caffeinated alcohol beverages in the future. This settlement does not constitute an admission of liability.

The settlement, in the form of an Assurance of Discontinuance, follows an investigation into possible violations of state consumer protection and trade practice statutes conducted by 11 state attorneys general. The investigations alleged, among other things, that Anheuser-Busch made express and implied false or misleading health-related statements about the energizing effects of Tilt and Bud Extra.

"We are not talking about young people drinking one or two of these alcoholic energy drinks," Goddard said. "These products are often consumed several times throughout a night of partying and used as a mixer for other alcoholic beverages."

Anheuser-Busch cooperated with the investigation and promptly decided to reformulate Tilt and Bud Extra without caffeine or other stimulants.

According to the Assurance of Discontinuance, Anheuser-Busch has agreed to:

• Stop manufacturing, marketing and providing to wholesalers any and all caffeinated alcohol beverages, including Bud Extra and Tilt as currently formulated.

• Anheuser-Busch agreed to stop producing any alcohol beverage that contains caffeine or other stimulants metabolized as caffeine, such as guarana.

• Reformulate Tilt and Bud Extra without caffeine or other stimulants, such as guarana, that are metabolized as caffeine.

Until the products are reformulated, Anheuser-Busch has agreed to:

• Eliminate Bud Extra and Tilt in their current caffeinated formulation from any Bartexter recipes, a text messaging service.

• Eliminate from its promotional materials, all references to mixing Bud Extra and Tilt with any other Anheuser-Busch product or alcohol based product.

• Stop providing wholesalers with any point of sale promotional materials for Bud Extra or Tilt in their current caffeinated formulation.

• Immediately discontinue the current Tilt Web site. The company also agreed that it will not hyperlink or direct visitors to a new Web site. The company may launch a new Tilt Web site, but it will be for a reformulated Tilt without caffeine.

• Take down the Bud Extra Web site for at least 30 days. When it re-launches the Web site, it will only promote the reformulated product without caffeine.