Last week's Bud Light controversy over beer bottle labels that forced the brewer to apologize last Tuesday afternoon appears to have sunk the Bud Light brand to its lowest consumer perception level in nearly five years over a period of four days.
Many consumers regarded the slogan – "the perfect beer for removing ‘no’ from your vocabulary" -- as insensitive and running counter to recent efforts to raise awareness of sexual assault on college campuses.
YouGov BrandIndex used its Buzz score to measure perception, which asks respondents: "If you've heard anything about the brand in the last two weeks, through advertising, news or word of mouth, was it positive or negative?" A score can range from 100 to -100 with a zero score equaling a neutral position. All respondents were adults age 21 and over.
From Monday through Thursday last week, Bud Light’s Buzz score tumbled from 6 to -2. That put the Anheuser-Busch InBevbrand five points below the domestic beer sector average of three points.
Bud Light’s previously reached Buzz score low of -3 happened in June 2010, when in Rolling Stone’s exposé of then-Afghanistan military commander General Stanley McChrystal, it was revealed he was “stuck on a bus… drinking case after case of Bud Light Lime.”