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Budweiser Addresses Murder Music Complaint

Timothy Kincaid

March 12th, 2008

budselect.pngLast Saturday there was a concert in Tampa that featured the Beenie Man. This artist has a history of advocating for murder and violence against gay men and women in his lyrics.

We expressed our concern to two national brands that were listed as sponsors of this concert, Budweiser Select and metroPCS.

Today we received the following e-mail from Anheuser-Busch:

Dear Timothy,

Thank you for contacting Anheuser-Busch regarding the WiLD Splash concert series.

Anheuser-Busch is not a sponsor of WiLD Splash. The local, independent Anheuser-Busch distributor is a partner of radio station WLLD, and agreed to sponsor the concert series months earlier without the benefit of knowing the entire artist line-up. The local distributor will address this issue with WLLD Radio and will perform its own research on acts slated for any future concert series.

Anheuser-Busch exercises no direct control over the marketing efforts of independent wholesalers including their sponsorships, participating artists or content of such an event. However, neither Anheuser-Busch or any of our wholesalers would knowingly participate in any sponsorship, promotion or performance that denigrates any segment of our consumers, and we specifically denounce any espoused violence against the LGBT community.

Regretfully, some confusion in the original consumer contact and our own internal processes failed to escalate this consumer inquiry in a timely manner allowing Anheuser-Busch to strongly advise the wholesaler against any participation in the event. Additional safeguards have been put in place to accelerate our processes to prevent future problems; specifically, all future LGBT issues will be sent directly to my attention for immediate handling.

Anheuser-Busch maintains a corporate commitment to zero tolerance for discrimination and the belief that every consumer is important, regardless of race, sex, religion, color, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability or veteran’s status.

Thank you again for bringing this regrettable situation to our attention and rest assured that it will be addressed at all levels within the Anheuser-Busch family.

Sincerely,

James Ramey

Manager, Multi-Cultural Marketing

I appreciate the difficulty of managing the image of a national brand while allowing local sponsorship decisions. And I commend Mr. Ramey for identifying the problem, taking a strong stance against homophobic music, and establishing steps to ensure that the Budweiser Select name does not again become associated with murder music.

So folks, this week when you’re catching the game (or the American Idol results show) crack open a cold Bud.

On the other hand, we have still to hear any response or even acknowlegement of our communication from metroPCS.

Comments

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Jason D
March 12th, 2008 | LINK

Kudos to Mr. Ramey,
Highlights, for me at least:
“and we specifically denounce any espoused violence against the LGBT community.”

“Regretfully, some confusion in the original consumer contact and our own internal processes failed to escalate this consumer inquiry in a timely manner allowing Anheuser-Busch to strongly advise the wholesaler against any participation in the event. Additional safeguards have been put in place to accelerate our processes to prevent future problems; specifically, all future LGBT issues will be sent directly to my attention for immediate handling.”

although I’m not sure about “espoused” as M-w.com defines it as “to take up and support as a cause : become attached to” but that’s nitpicking.

and the second paragraph…
I’m sure some of that is “spin” but I see an admission of fault in handling the situation — which is both rare and good, and a notation of steps to correct and prevent future incidents, that’s a good thing.

If I still drank, I’d go out and buy a bud.

Stefano
March 12th, 2008 | LINK

I would like to join in your commendation of Mr. Ramey for not only “identifying the problem, taking a strong stance against homophobic music, and establishing steps to ensure that the Budweiser Select name does not again become associated with murder music” but for responding to your communications at all.

I do wish, however, that their policies for their vendor “Partners in Economic Progress” division to broaden its partnerships with minority / women firms is available for Anheuser-Busch personnel only.

Adrienne Kilby
March 12th, 2008 | LINK

It’s great to see an example of someone bringing attention to the advocating of violence against lgbt people, and the company responding positively. I’m going to write Anheuser-Busch to let them know I too appreciate their denouncement of violent entertainers. Let’s all do it! Let companies know you appreciate them taking a stand.

Thanks to Timothy for initiating the conversation!

cowboy
March 12th, 2008 | LINK

I liked how James Ramey took personal responsibility for any future marketing hiccups. That was professional and a class act. I tip-my-hat to him and I want to mention we have had wonderful relationships with our local independent Anheuser-Busch distributor who has helped sponsor our rodeos.

Jos76
March 12th, 2008 | LINK

Thanks for helping to let us all know who is in our corner.
JOs76
http://www.jos76.wordpress.com

grantdale
March 13th, 2008 | LINK

Good job Timothy, and worthy response.

Steven Milverton
May 14th, 2010 | LINK

Unterstützt Beck’s Hassmusiker?…

Sizzla, ein durch seine menschenverachtenden Hassgesänge bekannt gewordener jamaikanischer Reggea-Musiker, will einmal mehr in Deutschland auftreten. Nachdem Sizzla sogar die Rückendeckung seines Freundes, des deutschen Reggea-Sänger Gentlemen verloren…

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