In essence, Spykes was not a bad product. Although it was an alcoholic product, it also doubled up as an energy drink that was caffeinated and was packed in different flavors like spicy lime, spicy mango, hot melons, and hot chocolates. Moreover, it was only 12 percent alcohol in content as opposed to the 40 percent concentration of many strong alcoholic drinks. The spirit makers decided to end their voluntary policy against aggressive advertising that made Anheuser-Busch to halt the sale of the product.
The company had also lost a considerable amount of its market share due to panic. People turned away from the brands they were previously consuming to the brands that were being advertised heavily on cable television. Consequently, drinking habits changed drastically as people abandoned domestic beer for the heavily advertised spirits. Because of changes that were evident in the industry, Spykes launched a website where recipes were given. The site also offered music download services. Subscribers could also download ringtones, screensavers, and instant messaging icons. Users made use of interactive features to post messages and share their thoughts and views on how the beverage would taste if it were heated up. Others hinted at putting the beverage in the microwave.
The avenue for experimentation remained a potential danger for the users of the beverage and this opened the debate that raged about Spykes with watchdog organizations alluding that the proprietors of the beverage company were hell-bent into luring children to consume alcohol. These crusaders built a case by arguing the beverage was meant for underage drinkers because it had sweet flavors, lacked age verification, and had teen-friendly advertisements on their website. They also argued that the proprietors included caffeine in their ingredients because they knew it was popular with the teenagers. Other anti-alcohol groups expressed concern that because of the small size of the Spykes bottle, it was possible for those who had not reached the majority age to hide them into their pockets and purses.
The initial response by the manufacturer of the manufacturer attributed the concerns raised to fear-mongering. The further decision by the Michigan State Police to write to parents warning them to always check their children’s purses increased pressure on the company and it eventually halted the manufacture of the beverage. Even in towns where Spykes had not been launched, like Massachusetts, a ban had already been imposed on the product. Letters that were sent by attorney generals of 28 states only compounded problems for the beverage manufacturer. The letters outlined concerns on how the beverage was being marketed and its nature, making the companies realize that they were losing the battle and consequently decided to stall its sale.
Many would argue that the management indicted itself, however, closing down was the best decision they could ever arrive at going by the accusations that had been leveled against them. Their decision to engage in advertising only implied that they were advocating for increased consumption of alcohol because the ads were meant to lure young people into drinking. Their decision to open a website that youths and underage persons frequented only promoted underage drinking. The way Spykes was advertised was also manipulating because there were interactive features that allowed people who accessed the website to interact and share their opinion on the beverage. Moreover, users of the website could download ringtones and other features that are most liked by the youth. Due to the cumulative effects of these activities, the decision to stall the production and sale of Spykes did not come as a surprise.