Daily Archives: 02/07/2015

Bud Light apologises after slogan is accused of promoting ‘rape culture’

A picture paints a thousand words
A picture paints a thousand words

Well the news story about the Bud Light campaign broke the same time as this headline:

Alcohol is the number one ‘date rape’ drug in Ireland – experts

Co-incidence? Yes but when you use that kind of language in your ad campaign on the bottle then it is likely to be misinterpreted (!!) in a wildly inappropriate way isn’t it?

Here’s the coverage of the Bud Light tag line story which was launched during Sexual Assault Awareness Month – I kid you not 🙁

An American beer company has apologised after being accused of condoning ‘rape culture’ on bottles of Bud Light.

The controversial tag line, printed on an undisclosed number of bottles, read: “The perfect beer for removing ‘no’ from your vocabulary for the night”.

It was part of the brand’s long-running ‘Up For Whatever’ campaign.

A social media backlash accused the company behind the beer, Anheuser-Busch InBey, of promoting sexual harassment through its marketing campaign.

An image of the bottle was posted on internet forum Reddit, where it was viewed more than a million times in 24 hours.

Following the outcry, the brewery said it “regretted” the tag line.

A spokesman said: “The Bud Light Up for Whatever campaign, now in its second year, has inspired millions of consumers to engage with our brand in a positive and light-hearted way. In this spirit, we created more than 140 different scroll messages intended to encourage spontaneous fun.

“It’s clear that this message missed the mark, and we regret it. We would never condone disrespectful or irresponsible behaviour.”

Female beer drinkers are seen as the next potential market for breweries.

Anheuser-Busch InBey has tried to appeal to women in recent times, with products named ‘Bud Light Lime-A-Rita’ and ‘Straw-Ber-Rita’.

But this latest controversy – coming, as it does, in the midst of concerns over rape culture in America’s college system – looks set to stall that.

Nita Lowey, a Democratic congresswoman released a statement saying:

“This grossly short-sighted marketing tactic shows an epic lack of understanding of the dangers associated with excessive alcohol consumption, such as sexual assault and drunk driving. We need responsible companies to help us tackle these serious public health and safety problems, not encourage them.”

In March this year, Bud Light was forced to remove a post on Twitter after being accused of condoning sexual harassment. It read: “On #StPatricksDay, you can pinch people who don’t wear green. You can also pinch people who aren’t #UpForWhatever.”

Words fail me ……. how about you?