Rape Fuel (Anheuser-Busch InBev Promo Mix)

Detail of photo by Nita Lowey, 28 April 2015.

One really should not need a list of reasons to avoid drinking Bud Light. That is, the fact that it is Bud Light ought to be enough. Yet, as Stephanie Strom’s report for the New York Times makes clear, we can add another reason to that list:

A new label on some bottles of Bud Light, one of the brands owned by the beer giant Anheuser-Busch InBev, is falling flat among women, a demographic group the industry has been desperately courting in hopes of jump-starting flagging sales of suds.

In a continuation of its “Up for Whatever” campaign, a wide blue band low on the label says, “The perfect beer for removing ‘no’ from your vocabulary for the night.”

Alexander Lambrecht, vice president of Bud Light, acknowledged, “It’s clear that this message missed the mark”.

This is unacceptable. Consider the idea of a simple mistake, and then consider the idea of being a massive corporation with a marketing department, lawyers, and all that. And while the “pumpkin peach” gaffe Strom notes about a Bud Light advert for a sporting event reminds what we already knew about AB-InBev being pathetically inattentive to reality, there really is no excuse. However many valences of review this campaign went through, we are supposed to believe that nobody at AB InBev noticed the problem?

“Missed the mark” is beyond inappropriate. And Mr. Lambrecht’s expression of regret misses ears not deaf but unwilling to sit for this manner of odious lie.

“We would never,” Mr. Lambrecht explained, “condone disrespectful or irresponsible behavior”. And it’s true; Bud Light would rather promote Rape Culture.

Perhaps they should rebrand the entire product, and instead of “Bud Light” just call it what it is: Rape Fuel.

____________________

Image note: Detail of photo by Nita Lowey, via Twitter, 28 April 2015.

Strom, Stephanie. “Bud Light Withdraws Slogan After It Draws Ire Online”. The New York Times. 28 April 2015.

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