Bud Light has found themselves in a bit of hot water over with their latest #UpForWatever campaign. Their brand of Anheuser-Busch beer was printed with the line, “The perfect beer for removing ‘No’ from your vocabulary for the night,” which can easily be interpreted to being about the blurred lines of rape. That’s not exactly something a company wants to be associated with.
Here’s a commercial that aired during The Super Bowl which was a part of the campaign.
Unsurprisingly, the ad has received a ton of backlash on social media, as it should.
Please don't be #UpForWhatever. Be "up" for what's important. Up for good people, great times, designated drivers, consent and respect.
— The Beeroness (@TheBeeroness) April 28, 2015
RT if you agree @budlight #UpForWhatever campaign should promote responsible - not reckless - drinking. #NoMeansNo pic.twitter.com/EFxwi2nZ4w
— Nita Lowey (@NitaLowey) April 28, 2015
I'll be physically unable to process any sentiment that involves trying to convince me Bud Light didn’t know it was making a rape joke there
— Andrea Grimes (@andreagrimes) April 28, 2015
It seems the Anheuser-Busch has an unfortunate history of crossing the line. Francine Katz, a former executive and highest ranked woman at the company, told the Washington Post they suffered “locker room and frat party atmosphere,” adding “I worked with nearly all men. They didn’t consider us their peers.” She left the company in 2008, and sued them for sexual discrimination in 2009.
Alexander Lambrecht, Vice President of Bud Light Anheuser-Busch released a statement saying the company crossed the line and will halt printing the inappropriate message on future bottles. Here’s the full statement:
“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 brand engagement. It’s clear that this particular message missed the mark, and we regret it. We would never condone disrespectful or irresponsible behavior. As a result, we have immediately ceased production of this message on all bottles.”
That’s a half-ass apology if I’ve ever heard one. To say that the ad ‘missed the mark’ is the understatement of the year. The message, and the hashtag #UpForWhatever, should’ve never made it to print to begin with. This is a huge blunder for a company that shouldn’t be spreading such an awful message whether intentional or not. Rape is no laughing matter. I’m sure the people at Bud Light aren’t too hung up about it however, because we’re talking about their product.