A thousand soccer fans who were forced to watch a match in their underpants have a priceless story to tell everyone they know; Germans have set up an anti-Bud website, Bud Out, and Germans call Bud a name that translates to dishwater. It’s a PR nightmare for Bud, which seems not to realize that when people say something bad about your brand, it usually means there is something you need to change.
UPI reports that “as many as a thousand Netherlands World Cup fans had to watch in their underpants as their team beat the Ivory Coast in Stuttgart, Germany. Stadium officials, who invoked the Neurenburg defense that they were only following orders, said that since Budweiser has the exclusive promotional and advertising rights to the stadium, fans wearing another beer’s logo on their lederhosen had to take them off or leave.” They stayed.
The BBC reports “Fifa officials said the trousers were an attempt at so-called ambush marketing – where a company tries to gain free publicity – and that they had to act to protect the interests of sponsors.”
The incident is the latest in a PR nightmare for Budweiser, which paid $40 million for the World Cup beer monopoly, according to MarketingVox.
Dear Budweiser marketing people: paste this sign on your computer:
Message control is, and always has been, an illusion.