It's not hard to see what the people at Anheuser-Busch were trying to conjure up when they decided on "the perfect beer for removing 'no' from your vocabulary for the night" as a slogan for a Bud Light label: the promise of loosened inhibitions that would lead to, say, harmless tipsy antics, hysterical laughter, and maybe dancing on tables.
But it is difficult to understand how the other possible interpretations of the sentence didn't occur to anyone in the room.
"The perfect beer for removing 'no'" might have worked if sexual assault weren't a huge problem, if rape didn't so often involve alcohol, and if "no means no" weren't the expression most closely associated with communicating to men that they should not assault women.
But unfortunately, all of these things are true — and well-known. And all it took was one Reddit post for people to notice.
@budlight best beer to remove no from your vocabulary? Thanks but no thanks on that date rape. A+ marketing, assholes http://t.co/Wek4YJ6ZJw— Jessica Debra (@jddowsett) April 28, 2015
Rape-Culture-Beer: Bud Light - The perfect beer to remove "no" from your vocabulary for the night. via Reddit pic.twitter.com/Ftoh08UZxa— YoungSocialist (@YoungSocialist) April 29, 2015
NPR reported that the slogan was one of several that Anheuser-Busch printed on beer labels as part of its #UpForWhatever ad campaign, and that the company stopped making it and acknowledged — after being thoroughly slammed for the choice on social media — that the "removing no" version "missed the mark."