How InBev Treats The King

Privilege belongs to the titans of industry. It’s part of the package, as it were. Expensive dinners, golf outings, fine hotels, first class tickets or a ride on the corporate jet–it’s all part of the deal. So, imagine the surprise Anheuser-Busch executives received upon discovering that InBev is the Wal-Mart of beer.
According to The Wall Street Journal, construction crews arrived at One Busch Place a few months ago and demolished the ornate executive suites at Anheuser-Busch Cos. In their place the workers built a sea of desks, where executives and others now work a few feet apart.

  • Managers accustomed to flying first class or on company planes now fly coach.
  • Freebies like tickets to St. Louis Cardinals games are suddenly scarce.
  • Most employees, even those at the company’s Sea World and Busch Gardens theme parks, got free beer. Not anymore.
  • The company will halt contributions to its pension plan for salaried employees in 2012. And in January, it will stop providing retiree life insurance.
  • A-B has cut the number of BlackBerrys for employees to 720 from 1,200.
  • The brewer is reducing the number of new ads created per year to 50 or 60 from about 100.
  • And they’re taking 120 days to pay their bills.

It’s more effective to make “sweeping, dramatic changes” than incremental ones, said a spokeswoman for the Belgian company.

About David Burn

Native Nebraskan in the Pacific Northwest. Chief Storyteller at Bonehook, a guide service and bait shop for brands. Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. Contributor to The Content Strategist. Doer of the things written about herein.

  • vinny warren

    tsk, tsk.

  • George Parker

    And, as I’ve posted on AdScam in the past, you know the Clydesdales are destined to be GeeGee Burgers in the land of the horsemeat eaters… Belgium.

  • whateva

    Methinks ad agency DDB has a free beer cart that rolls once a week for employees. Wonder if that will inevitably be affected too.