[V is for Victory – click to embiggen]
Blah blah blah. Bud was so eager to wrap itself with the American flag, I have no sympathy for them now.
CHICAGO (AdAge.com) — As Anheuser-Busch frets over how to ward off a takeover attempt from Brazilian-run InBev, the positioning of its flagship brand might just be the closest thing the No. 1 U.S. brewer has to a poison pill.
In fact, A-B distributors and agency executives who have worked on Bud and its sibling brands have grave doubts that a brand as overtly red, white and blue as Budweiser — and, by connection, its siblings — would remain credible with consumers under a Belgian owner operated by Brazilians.
“It could be a disaster,” said an executive at one of A-B’s agencies. “It’s all-American above all else — the Clydesdales, all the imagery. It’s an enormous challenge” if the brand becomes foreign-owned. And there’s a lot at stake: In 2007, $8.5 billion of A-B’s $16.7 billion in total global revenue came from sales of Bud-family brands in the U.S.
The situation is made even more ironic by the fact that A-B has in the past been willing to play the patriotism card against competitors. Earlier this decade, after Miller was acquired by South African Breweries and Coors merged with Canada-based Molson, A-B railed against their owners as “foreign interests” with a nativist strategy that would make Lou Dobbs blush.
On its websites and in point-of-sale materials, A-B ripped Miller and Coors for sending profits abroad and closing breweries here. “With over 80% of its employees outside of the United States, it’s hard to ignore a simple question: Does Miller reflect the American spirit?” said Budweiser’s official website at the time.
[From Brazilian Takeover Bid Imperils Bud Brand – Advertising Age – News]
American corporations like Anheuser-Busch who helped the Republicans get in power are now reaping their rewards – a dollar at near historic lows, and absentee corporate ownership in countries with stronger economies. Budweiser makes crappy beer to boot. They import a few quality brews (Bass Ale, for instance), but that has nothing to do with their brewing skills, just their distributing and political clout.