Teen-Booze Flap Scares Coors Off 'Scary Movie'

Steers Clear of Sequel; Tie-In With Earlier Film Ignited Watchdogs' Ire

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After being scared out of their seats by protests that it was marketing to teens with its appearance in "Scary Movie 3," Coors Brewing Co. executives have opted to keep Coors Light out of the movie's just-released sequel, "Scary Movie 4," despite earlier advertising suggesting the brand would participate.

"Scary Movie 3," which included the brewer's scantily-clad spokesmodels, the Coors Twins, and was heavily promoted by the brewer, infuriated alcohol industry watchdogs. They saw a beer sponsorship of a film rated PG-13 as a clear violation of industry guidelines preventing brewers from advertising where more than 30% of the audience was expected to be younger than 21-a standard the first two "Scary Movie" films met.

The backlash ranged from a class-action lawsuit-finally dismissed last fall-to a slew of negative headlines for the brewer. At the time, Coors executives said that they agreed to the sponsorship before they knew the movie would carry a PG-13 rating (the two earlier pictures were rated R), although the brewer opted to continue a promotional campaign after the ratings were released.

Estimates put Coors' media spending on the film in the mid-seven digits.

One piece of on-premise creative (see above) featured the Coors Twins, announced that they would be appearing in the film and added that "'Scary Movie 4' is now in the works."'

No twins, no beer

But despite the advance promotion, "Scary Movie 4" opened April 14, featuring neither the twins nor any other sign of Coors.

"Coors and Miramax learned a scary lesson," said a spokesman for the Marin Institute, an alcohol industry watchdog. "There are no happy endings when you promote beer in teen movies."

Coors signed a three-year, 15-picture placement deal with Miramax in 2002, but hasn't appeared in any other Miramax films after "Scary Movie 3."

Asked why, spokeswomen for Coors and Miramax each noted that the deal had expired and declined to elaborate. "We do not disclose the details of our contracts," a Coors spokeswoman said.

"Scary Movie 4"-which features celebrity cameos from Dr. Phil McGraw, Shaquille O'Neal, Carmen Electra, Molly Shannon and rappers Chingy, Lil' Jon and Young Bloods-grossed more than $67 million through April 27, including a $40 million opening weekend that set an Easter weekend record.

Coors currently has no placement deals with any other Hollywood studios.

"We're very pleased that Coors didn't shop for another teen placement, and that Miramax didn't seek another beer sponsor," said the Marin spokesman.
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