Anheuser-Busch Taps Hip-Hop Star Nelly to Promote Underage-Drinking Prevention

ST. LOUIS -- Anheuser-Busch here hopes to strike a chord with parents concerned about underage-drinking prevention, through a new TV ad featuring hip-hop artist Nelly that debuts today.

In a 30-second 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 tomorrow evening during "Law and Order" on NBC.

According to the 2004 Roper Youth Report, a nationally representative survey of teens (ages 13 to 17), 75 percent reported that their parents are the primary influence in their decisions about whether to 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," said John Kaestner, v.p. of consumer affairs for Anheuser-Busch Cos., Inc. in a statement. "Responsibility matters, and we want to encourage parents to remind their teens that underage drinking is not only wrong, it's also against the law."

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports that 71 percent of underage youth ages 12-20 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.
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