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Boycott AB InBev 22/01/2010

Posted by Corneel Maes in Uncategorized.

Never thought that, as former communications specialist of AB InBev, I would ever join a Facebook group that calls for a boycott on AB InBev. And yet, I did. Simply because I cannot agree with the communications strategy of the country’s largest brewer. The Brazilian management hasn’t learned a single thing from the communications issues of 2005, when they announced the closure of the Hoegaarden brewery. Already then, financial ratios were at the edge of their argumentation, as if AB InBev was being run by bankers, and not brewers. But the brewer eventually had to give in. In 2010, nothing has changed. They are making exactly the same mistake: they only think about their investors, and completely overlook the emotional aspect of their product. Beer is culture, beer is tradition, beer is all about pride, honor and loyalty. Beer is, unlike other sectors of industry, almost cultural legacy, and you simply keep your hands off it. A reorganization always has a financial aspect, but in my opinion it’s high time that AB InBev showed more empathy towards their employees. What they do now is look straight over their employees’ heads to please their investors. To Carlos Brito I would say: allow your employees their dignity. And show the rich Belgian brewing tradition the respect it deserves.  After two weeks of social unrest, AB InBev has just given in and is calling the reorganization off. But beware, history always repeats itself …



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