Bud Light has been criticised after a sampling tour ended up with rough sleepers having a “trolley of” of their product, the Liverpool Echo reports.
Following on from Pepsi’s bizarre advert inspired by race riots, this is the latest beverage brand to mishandle a publicity campaign.
One rough sleeper told the Liverpool Echo: “They were just handing them out to everyone, I ended up with a trolley full.
“I think it was sound. I think its ok giving those out, it doesn’t do any harm does it.”
Another informed the Liverpool Echo that he was given quite a few cans and had handed some out to his friends.
Nick Small, Assistant Mayor of Liverpool, did not agree with rough sleeper’s view. He said to the Liverpool Echo: “They have done this without permission.
“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’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.”
Anheuser-Busch, Bud Light's brewer, replied to these accusations to the Liverpool Echo: “As a company and founding member of the Portman Group [the responsibility body for drinks producers in the UK], we are committed to responsible drinking and take our role in promoting this very seriously.
“For our UK Bud Light sampling tour we have processes in place to make sure only those of legal drinking age, who are not under the influence and not in a vulnerable position, receive a single 150ml sample can of Bud Light.
“This incident has recently been brought to our attention and while we believe it to be an isolated case, we are working with our sampling team to understand the specific circumstances of how this happened and to ensure that any future activity sees these products being distributed and enjoyed responsibly.”