This Bud's for You — Even With Foreign Owners

Saturday, 04 Jun 2011 01:22 PM

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All-American beer brands that foreign companies now own, such as Budweiser, have defied expectations of marketing experts and continued to exploit patriotic emotions and imagery to sell their products, reports Ad Age.

Budweiser, beer, foreign ownersBelgian-Brazilian adult-beverage giant InBev bought Budweiser parent company Anheuser-Busch in 2008 for $52 billion. InBev is now a subsidiary of the rechristened Anheuser-Busch InBev.

“It could be a disaster,” one advertising insider told Ad Age at the time of the merger.

Budweiser, though, has maintained its red, white, and blue color scheme, as well as strong sales. It even issued a limited-time American-flag can during Memorial Day weekend. It also has launched a program to raise funds for veterans that will feature happy-hour specials on Flag Day.

"The average consumer has a short memory," Harry Schuhmacher, editor of Beer Business Daily, told Ad Age. "The fact that Anheuser-Busch was bought by a foreign company was all over the news . . . but then it died down and people went about their business."

Consumers were upset about the merger, with some starting a website to "fight the foreign invasion.” But the furor soon died down, and Americans went back to their beer-swilling ways without much concern about who was producing their suds.

"Consumers drink beer, they don't obsess over who owns what," beer historian Maureen Ogle told Ad Age. "Once the emotion was over, well, life goes on."

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