If you haven’t been sleeping under a rock, you’ve probably heard that Bud Light has recently gotten into a huge mess. Someone on their marketing team, to go along with their existing “Up for Whatever” campaign, decided it would be a great idea to add to the bottom of their bottles, “The perfect beer for removing ‘no’ from your vocabulary for the night.”
Needless to say, there has been an uproar ever since and it has made its way on over to social media where users revamped Bud Light’s #UpForWhatever and replaced it with #NotUpForWhatever.
This wasn’t the first time Bud Light has come under attack for their UpForWhatever campaign. Back around St. Patrick’s Day, they came under fire for a tweet (pictured below) that said you can pinch someone who wasn’t #UpForWhatever.
The problem Bud Light didn’t seem to understand, and why they continued on with this poorly thought out campaign, is the “Whatever” portion of the slogan. “Up For Whatever” is such a broad statement that it can easily be misconstrued as “up for sex.” Especially when alcohol and a select few irresponsible young adults are involved in the mix.
Bud Light has recalled all bottles with the questionable messaging, and they’ve apologized with the brand’s VP, Alexander Lambrecht saying, “It’s clear that this message missed the mark, and we regret it. We would never condone disrespectful or irresponsible behavior.”
It’s great that they issued an apology when their money and brand image started dwindling; however, there is just simply no excuse for a multi-million dollar company to just “miss the mark” on something as serious as condoning rape.
It’s irresponsible is what it is. And that irresponsible messaging on their beer and the whole name of the campaign would be used to justify that same irresponsible behavior that Lambrecht says they do not condone.
When you are a huge company like Bud Light, you have an ethical responsibility to do better and to set an example. Especially since so much beer is consumed on college campuses, where rape is a huge issue that often goes unnoticed because we aren’t teaching people about what consent really means.
Furthermore, what in the world is wrong with their creative team? You can just imagine them sitting around and brainstorming funny and catchy sayings.
Someone probably shouted out and said, “Oh! I got a good one—the perfect beer for removing ‘no’ from your vocabulary for the night.” Everyone went ,”Awesome,” “Dude! that’s a great one,” and, “Yeah, we’ll use that,” with no objection or critical thinking involved.
And thanks to an article by Think Progress, there might be a little more insight into how this slipped by all of the marketing executives and anyone involved in the campaign.
Come to find out, the 14 member team responsible for this campaign were all male except for one female. If you look at the company’s overall rating on the female employee review website InHerSight it’s a 1.5/5.
Last year they even faced a lawsuit from a former female employee who was underpaid by millions in comparison to her male predecessor, as well as frequently being shut out from golf tournaments, not getting invited to hunting trips with the CEO, and having to fly a separate plane from the rest of her peers.
Clearly Bud Light is a bit of a boys club. And it begs the question, “If there were more women in respected roles of leadership in the company, would such a senseless campaign even exist?”
We are in an age where the light is being shined on these corporations. There is transparency about gender equality in the workplace and we have the right to call them out on their bull.
When we don’t like something we take to Twitter and let it be known. It’s great that Bud Light has mastered the art of responding back to a tweet and issuing a statement, but there needs to be more effort. It doesn’t mean the issue is solved.
Corporate social responsibility isn’t just something that these companies should be concerned about when it comes to the customer. It’s also something they need to be concerned about in-house. If they start from within, maybe they wouldn’t have so many problems with their customers, aka their money flow.
Things like #UpForWhatever and, “The perfect beer for removing ‘no’ from your vocabulary for the night,” would be recognized for the idiotic nonsense that they are, and honest, relevant campaigns could be explored.
We’re all going to be in the corporate field one day so it is our responsibility, as well, to do our parts and make sure this senseless behavior doesn’t continue. This is the way of past generations, but we have the chance to turn things around.
Gender equality and rape culture are human issues that affect us all, and it is about time these companies start realizing that.
Some more issues with food to be concerned about: