Blog: Anheuser-Busch InBev – Hey, everyone. Come, see how good I look
Olly Wehring | 3 February 2011
It was Mrs Wehring's birthday yesterday. She got lots of surprises on the day, the lucky lady. She likes surprises - who doesn't?
It's a pity, though, that Anheuser-Busch InBev's attempts to give the UK drinks media a surprise yesterday failed so dismally. The unit's launch of the cider extension of the Stella Artois brand was set to be heralded by a lunchtime press event, the details of which had been kept very hush-hush.
How exciting, we in the press corp thought. What could this be about?
Sadly, the surprise bubble was burst prior to the party, with A-B InBev choosing to issue full details of Stella Artois Cidre to a UK publication prior to the event.
This isn't the first time a 'surprise' product launch announcement has been trumped. I shan't name names - actually, I will, Britvic.
It's also not the first time that news of the arrival of a new product from A-B InBev has got out before the company was ready. Back in 2008, leaked news of the impending arrival of Stella Artois 4% prompted the hasty arrangement of a press conference in London - so hasty, in fact, that no samples of the beer were available to manhandle or taste.
Now, it's very easy to take potshots at companies the size of A-B InBev - indeed, some appear to take tremendous pleasure in doing just that. But, we here at just-drinks are always keen to search out the good in a company, regardless of how big they are.
It proves nigh-on impossible to do just that, however, when a company believes its next big thing is so great that it warrants a literal unveiling, with trumpet-y fanfare, silk throw and 'ta-da' jazz-hands, only for news to break elsewhere beforehand; even moreso if the company concerned broke its own embargo willingly.
You'll forgive me, then, for politely declining any future 'we're-not-going-to-tell-you-what-it's-about' invitations. My heart just can't take the crushing disappointment any more.
Want to know how to make it to the top of the beverage business? According to Muhtar Kent, it's all about the networking....
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