“If the deal gets done, InBev, which is known for its cost-cutting culture, could make deep cuts to Anheuser’s massive ad and marketing budget at is seeks to gain efficiencies from the high-priced acquisition.”
– The Wall Street Journal, 6/12/2008
From: August Busch IV
To: Carlos Brito
Subject: We. Need. To. Talk.
Hard to believe it’s only been a year since you took over!
First off, thanks for sending me your most recent suggestion regarding the sale of Moule et Frites at Cardinals games. I’ve already run the idea by Walt Jocketty and, while he seemed less than enthused, I’m sure once he has Tony LaRussa translate it for him he’ll be on board tout de suite.
Now to the meat of the issue: are you trying to give my dad a heart attack? Hasn’t the poor guy had enough, what with your sending him to view the Brahma plant in a Speedo? What is with these ideas, man? I haven’t seen anything this nutty since my Eagle Snacks internship.
There is NO WAY that anyone will ever accept that we’ve reincarnated Spuds McKenzie as Belgian Malinois. The simple fact is, that dog looks far too much like something guarding prisoners at Guantanamo Bay to sell beer. And speaking of selling beer, why have you cut our marketing budget that deeply, anyway? Slashing our hand-selling initiatives was bad enough – do you know how hard it is for our guys to only buy six rounds for everyone at the bar – but now you say we won’t be able to teach the Clydesdales to drive for our NASCAR commercials? I don’t know what kind of television they have in Belgium, but right here in the good old US of Anheuser, we expect that any sporting event telecast will have ads featuring the following: a horse, monkey, or amphibian doing the impossible, a home-grown rock star, and a jolly ethnic type with a lovable catchphrase. I’m sorry, I know she’s got a great backhand and now works cheap, but Justine Henin does not sell beer.
I mean, Carlos, baby, give me a little credit! This isn’t what you want to do. Didn’t we decide we could build InBud on trust, as well as a slightly-higher-that-the-initial-offer share price? We’ve done well so far. We went along with you when you made us start serving Michelob Ultra in waffle-shaped bottles. I personally didn’t like the idea of calling Bud Light “Bud Bruges,” but our people are adjusting. You’d think that I’d have earned a little trust over there in NATO headquarters. I know you told the powers-that-be that you’d be over here cracking skulls and bringing budgets in line, and that’s fine. We all need a little discipline, and you’ve finally done what we couldn’t – sell Beck’s to Americans. But the cultural changes we’re making don’t have to mean that we’re going to be living in St. Luxembourg. No one wants to visit the St. Louis Arc, after all. Even if they are all of a sudden selling really good chocolate there. The big draw is the view, man. Take one a babe up there and enjoy it. Quit with this whole centralized global culture idea. Lighten up! Show some sophistication! Eat some of those great little cabbages!
Also, could you do something about bringing back our old weekly beer allotment? We enjoyed the Hoegaarden, after all, but we’re running out of fruit. Some ice-cold Bud would sure hit the spot. Enjoyed responsibly, over the course of a three hour lunch, natch!
Carlos, I look forward to hanging out with you again in the near future. You pick the next event, be it soccer or – eeeecccch! – soccer. But please, please, chill out on the budget cuts. It’s getting to be that a guy can’t even sell a Borba, you know what I mean?
P.S. – Sorry I called you an An-Twerp, by the way. I was just kiddin’ around with a nickname. You know, like W used to You know?