President Mason Unsure U Of I Beer Ad Deal Is Worth Flak

Ann McClure's picture
Monday, September 10, 2012

If she had it to do over again, University of Iowa President Sally Mason would likely not approve the university’s contract with Anheuser-Busch because of the backlash caused by the beer company deal.

“I’m not sure it’s worth the revenues we’re getting for our athletic department,” Mason said at a taping Friday for Iowa Public Television’s “Iowa Press.” “I probably would reconsider. More than likely not even do it.”

The U of I has been fighting its party school image for years and has tried to push the message of “safe, responsible, legal,” Mason said. That seemed to fit with Anheuser-Busch’s pitch for drinking responsibly. But recently the university’s Tigerhawk logo appeared on posters advertising drink specials at Iowa City bars — a move not approved by the university.

“We didn’t mean to send a mixed message,” Mason said. The posters have been removed, but the damage is already done, she said.

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