Anheuser-Busch is set to unveil an online hub for late-night TV-like videos on February 4, making it the latest consumer brand to believe it can entertain an audience of largely college kids as it's trying to sell them something in the background. A popular Web network is the ultimate subliminal advertising.
But Anheuser-Busch wants its project, called Bud.TV, to be legal. The beer maker said Monday that it has teamed with Washington D.C.-based Aristotle to verify that all of its Web site visitors for Bud.TV, who must register before entering the site, are of drinking age, or at least 21 years old. (Bud.TV will host content similar to late-night TV, the company said.)
By April, Aristotle's age-verification technology will also be used on all Anheuser-Busch sites, including Budweiser.com, the company said. "This initiative makes Anheuser-Busch the first alcohol beverage company to use an independent age-verification system for its Internet sites," according to the company.
Age-verification systems on the Net typically don't work. But Aristotle and Anheuser-Busch said that site visitors must provide their first and last name, date of birth and zip code. Then, Aristotle will "attempt to verify" the visitor against its database of public records in real time.