Budweiser Unveils Qatar World Cup Ad, Despite Threats Of A Boycott & It Being Virtually An Alcohol-Free Event

Budweiser Unveils Qatar World Cup Ad, Despite Threats Of A Boycott & It Being Virtually An Alcohol-Free Event

Hats off to US beer brand Budweiser who, you could say, have bravely signed-on to be the official beer of the Qatar World Cup that starts in late November.

Not only is Qatar virtually a “dry” country where alcohol is typically forbidden or, at least, heavily policed, many brands have been reluctant to get involved with this year’s event due to boycott threats following allegations Qatari officials paid large bribes to win the event on top of human rights abuses in the country.

It’s unclear what Budweiser, owned by AB InBev, paid to be the official beer brand for the tournament, however, media reports suggest the brewer has been heavily pressured by local officials to promote its zero alcohol brand during the month-long tournament.

All that’s not stopped Bud’s offical World Cup ad from dropping this week. Called “The world is yours to take” and the work of fabled creative agency Wieden+Kennedy, the spot stars soccer royalty in Argentina’s Lionel Messi, Brazilian Neymar Jr and Englishman Raheem Sterling.

Unsurprisingly, it doesn’t show a hell of a lot of actual beer drinking. Check it out below:

Interestingly, soccer’s governing body, FIFA, is investigating claims of bribery by local officials to win the event, however, the findings of the report aren’t expected to be released until after the tournament is completed.

When it comes to the actual sale of alcohol during the event, Qatar has agreed that it can be sold at grounds three hours before kick-off and an hour after the completion of play.

Additionally, Budweiser will be permitted to serve beer in part of the main FIFA fan zone in central Doha from 6:30pm to 1:00am every day of the 29-day tournament.

It’s unclear what a brew will cost fans, however, there has been media reports it could go as high as $US20 ($A30) a pint.

An AB InBev spokesperson recently telling the news site Reuters: “We are working closely with FIFA, which is managing the relationship with the Qatari authorities, to ensure our activations for the tournament are executed respectfully and in compliance with local rules and regulations.”

Budweiser will sell its non-alcoholic beer, Budweiser Zero, in stadium concourses and stands during games and at other fan sites, the source said.

World Cup visitors cannot bring alcohol into Qatar, even from airport duty free, and they cannot buy alcohol at the country’s only liquor store, on the outskirts of Doha. Only foreign residents with permits can shop there for home consumption.

The spokesperson added: “We always respect the local customs and culture in the markets in which we operate or host events. Our promotion and activation of Budweiser Zero during the FIFA World Cup in Qatar will target the international guests coming to enjoy and celebrate football at the fan sites.”





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