Mother’s Against Drunk Driving (MADD) has linked up with a Canadian marketing firm to introduce a line of MADD sponsored and labeled mojitos, margaritas, pina coladas, beer, and red, white and sparkling wines that are 100% alcohol free.
They’re an alternative for people who want to serve drinks with “the great taste needed to make guests feel like they are part of the party — but without the alcohol,” said MADD’s national president, Laura Dean-Mooney. ~ The Associated Press
Even though I am a supporter of MADD and agree that non-alcoholic “mimic” drinks may be a good alternative for designated drivers, I do question the wisdom of putting their name on adult beverages regardless of the content. MADD already has a large host of detractors from the ABI to minimum age opponents, and this move will certainly give them a controversial issue to target.
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A good example of making hay with “MADD drinks” is this opinion piece from DUIattorney.com accusing MADD of selling out… and making a very convincing argument.
It looks to me like MADD is taking it’s esteemed reputation—earned and bolstered by thousands of volunteers, private donations and federal and state tax dollars—and turning it into a name-brand. MADD is using MADD.org to bolster the marketing for MADD, Inc, and thereby profiting from its years as a tax-exempt organization.
Final verdict, I think MADD has made a poor move here. For those that don’t have abuse issues non-alcoholic beverages are fine substitute, but since they have no problem abstaining in the first place it’s sort of a moot point. And for those of us with a history of abuse I strongly discourage the use of these products- it’s not a terribly smart path. Non-alcoholic mimic beverages seem like a good idea on paper, but the market and their realistic use is overestimated in my opinion. MADD will gain another revenue stream from this line of products, but the possible alienation of their supporters and the assured attacks from their opponents may not be worth the effort.