Bud Light’s Up for Whatever campaign is meant to invoke feelings of a carefree, spontaneous, fun night out with friends. However, in yet another example of marketing gone wrong, some Bud Lights now have the slogan, “The perfect beer for removing ‘no’ from your vocabulary for the night.”
At a time when a “no means no” policy is being replaced by “yes means yes” -- advocating for enthusiastic consent between adults -- this line speaks less to spontaneous fun and more to predatory rape culture.
An image of a beer bottle labeled with the tonedeaf line was first posted on Reddit on Monday night and was covered by Consumerist earlier today. Social media soon joined in with hashtags like #UpForConsent, and bashing the company’s unintended message.
Hey, @BudLight: Who's the tone-deaf marketing whiz who came up with this? #upforwhatever #includingunemployment pic.twitter.com/CSBCp9lwgv— Michael Hainsworth (@hainsworthtv) April 28, 2015
Bud Light apologized for the message and said it will no longer use it in its campaign, which contains 140 different messages in total. “It’s clear that this message missed the mark, and we regret it. We would never condone disrespectful or irresponsible behavior,” said Alexander Lambrecht, Bud Light’s vice president, in a statement posted to the Anheuser-Busch website today.
What story do you tell with your brand? For Bud Light, it’s “Screw consent. Date rape is awesome!” #UpForWhatever pic.twitter.com/tobNwyfXMS— Aaron Muszalski (@sfslim) April 28, 2015
Bud Light, the beer for wannabe date-rapists apparently (via @lucyleid) #UpForWhatever pic.twitter.com/Rd1W9QsWgR— Will Scott (@willpscott) April 28, 2015
This is not the first time that the #UpforWhatever campaign has gotten into trouble. The Twitterverse was similarly angered when the company advocated that Saint Patrick’s Day revelers, per tradition, should pinch people who aren’t wearing green.
Perhaps in the future the Bud Light marketing department will take off its beer goggles before committing to a slogan long enough to consider it from multiple angles.