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Budweiser's 'Immigration' Super Bowl Ad Triggers Boycott Threat

05/02/2017 4:25 PM AEDT | Updated 07/02/2017 2:10 AM AEDT
Matt Cowan via Getty Images
INDIO, CA - APRIL 30: Budweiser Clydesdale horses are seen during 2016 Stagecoach California's Country Music Festival at Empire Polo Club on April 30, 2016 in Indio, California. (Photo by Matt Cowan/Getty Images for Stagecoach)

A Super Bowl ad from Budweiser that focuses on the hardships endured by an immigrant to the U.S. has triggered a backlash in the days leading up to the big game.

The ad, previewed on TV and the Internet, tells the story of Budweiser’s German founder Adolphus Busch, who traveled to the U.S. in 1857, later teaming up with Eberhard Anheuser to brew the iconic American beer.

During the spot, Busch is treated with suspicion because he doesn’t “look like he’s from around here.” Despite the abuse, he goes on to make history because “nothing stops your dream.” 

Although Budweiser has said the ad is a celebration of an American success story and is not linked to current politics, it comes just days after President Donald Trump signed a temporary travel ban that targets Muslim travelers, immigrants and refugees.

As such, some social media users have criticized the spot for being pro-immigrant and overtly political, leading to talk of a boycott.

One tweeter lamented having to turn her back on the “precious” Clydesdale horses that represent the brand, but added “rule of law = borders.” Another complained that politics shouldn’t be part of sports.

Boycotts against companies seen as supporting or opposing Trump have met with mixed results. 

Trump supporters’ boycott of Starbucks — launched after the company promised to hire 10,000 refugees — backfired spectacularly. The movement ended up inspiring those sympathetic to refugees to support and speak out for the coffee company.

#DeleteUber movement, launched late last month after Uber drivers refused to honor a taxi strike at JFK Airport, had some success. Uber CEO Travis Kalanick quit Trump’s economic advisory council on Friday, saying he wanted to distance himself and Uber from Trump’s anti-Muslim executive order.

Uber also announced Saturday that it will pay the airfare of drivers who were stranded abroad by Trump’s edict.

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