In the Doghouse

A-B InBev Steamrolls National Policy for World Cup Sales

August 24, 2014

Anheuser-Busch InBev (A-B InBev) is on a roll: it reaped huge profits from a worldwide surge in alcohol consumption prompted by its official sponsorship of the FIFA 2014 World Cup. This, after A-B InBev and FIFA (Federation Internationale de Football Association) strongarmed Brazil to change its laws banning alcohol sales at sports stadiums for the World Cup, despite protests from the Brazilian government and its people.

The extent of A-B InBev's penetration into the World Cup experience was unprecedented. An Out-Of-Home (OOH) "Rise as One" advertising campaign via ClearChannel ensured constant exposure to Budweiser marketing and promotion, making the event inseparable from the Budweiser brand for all fans and viewers, including millions of youth.

A-B InBev's political might shows no sign of losing steam. For the 2018 World Cup, A-B InBev and FIFA have now cajoled Russia into reversing a 2012 ban on alcohol advertising that was adopted as part of former President Medvedev's 2009 strategy to fight rampant alcohol problems in the country. Russians will now be exposed to alcohol advertising on TV and in stadiums until the 2018 World Cup concludes. But what's a country's health and safety compared to record beer sales?