Bud Light gives beer to the homeless

21st April, 2017 by Phoebe French

Bud Light have sparked controversy in Liverpool after handing out cans of beer to rough sleepers.

As reported by the Liverpool Echo, Bud Light took to the city centre, offering the public free sample cans to drive brand awareness.

Eye witnesses, however, reported that homeless people were being given multiple cans with one main claiming he had been given a ‘trolley full.’

Speaking to the newspaper, he said: “They were just handing them out to everyone, I ended up with a trolley full. I think it was sound.”

“I think it’s okay giving those out – it doesn’t do any harm, does it?”

The branded Bud Light 4×4 was quickly removed from the site by council staff, after it emerged it had not been permission to park there.

Commenting on the stunt, Nick Small, city centre councillor said: “They [Bud Light] have done this without permission from the council’s Licensing Team or City Centre Team.

“I’ve had reports from members of the public that they’ve seen street drinkers and other vulnerable residents being handed free cans of beer by Bud Light.

“I’m outraged that this is happening when Liverpool schools are on half-term too.

“I’d like to thank the City Council’s Licensing and City Centre Teams for acting so quickly and getting the van moved.

“I’m demanding that enforcement action is taken against the company for what appears to be a flagrant breach of alcohol promotion guideline and licensing laws. This has no place whatsoever in Liverpool or anywhere else.”

Mr Small’s views were shared by Twitter users who questioned both the company’s morality and the timing of the campaign.

The condemnation was not universal, however, as one user pointed out that Bud Light were giving beer to everyone, not just the homeless.

The user continued that it would be unfair to deprive a homeless person of a free beer, with another adding that it was likely to be the only drink that they would get that day.

In a statement responding to the Liverpool Echo’s article, Anheuser-Busch said: “As a company and founding member of the Portman Group, we are committed to not only promoting responsible drinking, but also to showing good moral conduct across everything we do. We take these duties very seriously and apologise on this occasion for any offence the sampling of our products may have caused.

“For our UK Bud Light sampling tour we have strong processes in place to make sure only those of legal drinking age and who are not under the influence receive a single 150ml sample can of Bud Light. With these measures we also aim to be inclusive whilst ensuring our products do not fall into the hands of vulnerable people.  All of our teams conducted ID checks as part of the Challenge 25 scheme and stamped individuals’ hands after they received a free sample to ensure just one was given per person.

“We are investigating how this incident, which we believe to be isolated, came to pass but until then we are putting a hold on any further public sampling activity.”

Bud Light was launched in the UK in February but has been criticised following the lower alcohol content compared to the US version (4.2% in the US vs 3.5% in the UK.)

In 2015, the company was lambasted on social media following “rapey” slogans printed on bottles.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please note that comments are subject to our posting guidelines in accordance with the Defamation Act 2013. Posts containing swear words, discrimination, offensive language and libellous or defamatory comments will not be approved.

Subscribe to our newsletters

New Business Development Manager Nordic

Concha Y Toro
Stockholm, Sweden

Experienced Administrator

The Drinks Business
Central London, UK

Sales Executive (London – Craft Spirits)

Bimber Distillery
London, UK

2 x Buying Assistants

Berry Bros. & Rudd
Battersea and Basingstoke, UK

Temporary Christmas Sales Support - Wines & Spirits

Knighsbridge, London, UK

Head of Wholesale

Hispamerchants Ltd
London, UK

Sales Manager

Hispamerchants Ltd
London, UK

The World Bulk Wine Exhibition

20th Nov 2017

The Drinks Business Green Awards 2017

London,United Kingdom
20th Nov 2017

The Global Spirits Masters Lunch

London,United Kingdom
1st Dec 2017
Click to view more

Green Awards 2017

Deadline : 25th October 2017

The Global Riesling Masters 2017

Deadline : 30th October 2017

Click to view more

Champagne Masters 2017

The only Champagne blind tasting in the UK, the competition will reward the best wines in the following categories:

The Global Rosé Masters 2017

With wines from the palest of pink to almost ruby red, bone dry to almost cloyingly sweet, reductively handled to barrel-aged, as well as gently spritzy to fully sparkling.

Click to view more