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The Best of Fails – 2nd Edition

When you say you’re transparent,
but you’re not really.

You can pledge a commitment to transparency, call out your competition and promote the superiority of your product, but if you don’t make wholesale changes in your commitment to be a better, more transparent company… you’ll end up with a disillusioned customer.

Who’s next in our series ‘The Best of Fails’?

Bud Light
(owned by Annheuser Busch)

In a rather comical advertising spot during this years’ Superbowl, Bud Light announced that their beer does not contain any corn syrup. In doing so they put the competition, Coors and Miller Light, directly and explicitly in the cross hairs.

Click here to watch the original commercial: “Bud Light – Special Delivery”

You might think this isn’t a fail, right?

But it is. There is a deft sleight of hand in operation here. Yes, corn syrup has negative perceptions in terms of health, when ingested. However, it is only used in the brewing process and naturally turns into alcohol during the process of fermentation. Meaning, there is NO corn syrup to be ingested.

According to registered dietitian and epidemiologist, Suzanne Dixon:

“There is nothing inherently bad about brewing with corn syrup… there is no corn syrup or any of the other simple sugars left in the beer by the time it reaches the consumer!”

When asked, Bud Light positioned its advertisement as part of their fight for ingredient transparency:

“We don’t have anything against corn syrup, we just don’t use it in Bud Light. Consumers want transparency and we’re providing it. It’s up to them to decide what beer is right for them.” an Anheuser-Busch spokesperson told The Daily Meal in an email.

Bud Light instead contains rice syrup, which has little to no difference with corn syrup. They failed to mention that. What’s more, Annheuser Busch’s extensive range of brews, including Corona, Modelo, Stella Artois and Becks are all brewed using corn syrup.

So much for transparency, huh.

Was this campaign intended to deliver transparency; or simply using the current negative perception that exists around corn syrup to deteriorate their competitors’ perception.

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We are looking forward to hearing from you.
The Earth Team