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January 12, 2010

The recession hits the Bud Light rep girls


There is no such thing as coincidence, grasshopper.

Sunday, I got to Ropewalk Tavern at the exact same time as a few Bud Light rep girls.

You've seen their type before: A pack of 20-something women sporting tons of INSERT BEER NAME HERE gear, buying free drinks for guys at the bar to help pump up the brand.

I've heard of PBR reps lining up pitchers of suds on the bar and serving it to anyone who had a glass. Now that's American.

Being a thirsty Ravens fan in the right place at the right time, I was ready and willing to slam back a few free Bud Lights Sunday.

What actually happened shocked and appalled me ...

Midnight Sunner jmgiordano and I were sitting at the bar, sipping $2.50 Peroni drafts when one of the Bud Light girls approached us.

"What are you guys drinking?" she asked.

"Peronis. But it's been a while since we've tried a cold, delicious Bud Light," we said.

"You should be drinking Stella (Artois)," she said. If you didn't know, Budweiser and Stella are joined at the hip.

"Sounds tempting," we said. "Will you buy us one?"

"Why don't you guys buy me one?," she said.

That's when an imaginary record scratched, and my face convulsed in a mixture of shock/horror/confusion. She was serious. The Bud Light girl wanted us to buy a beer for her. Does not compute. DOES NOT COMPUTE.

When she realized we were not about to pay American money to purchase crappy domestic beer (or crisp but ultimately thin and disappointing Stella Artois), for anyone -- especially a rep -- the Bud Light girl meandered down the bar, distributing purple beads to other patrons.

They weren't giving out free Bud Light. They. Weren't. Giving. Out. Free. Bud. Light.

Has the whole world gone crazy? Has the recession struck so deep that even corporate mega-giant beer conglomerates can't afford a few pints on the house? That is just un-American. There, I said it.

And now, I don't know if I'll ever drink Bud Light again. I just don't know.

(AP photo)

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Posted by Sam Sessa at 11:24 AM | | Comments (53)
Categories: Bars & Clubs


Wow, that a pretty hate machine.

have been witness to this little tete a tete, I can say this was an EPIC fail on the Bud girl's part. What Sam left out was my dialog that went something like this.
Her: "Well, we don't have the money for that anymore"
Me: "They don't pay you enough."
Her" "They pay us very well actually."
Me: "Well you then you really have no reason not to buy us a Bud light!"
Sorry BL, you have to do more than stupid cozys and generic looking hotbots to get me to drink....
You can't tell me that there's no budget for comping beer like that. I am friends with another beer rep and she gets PITCHERS to hand out wherever she goes!

hmm, those girls may want to phone in to their office for clarification of their job description. seems like they misunderstood something at the company briefing.

"And now, I don't know if I'll ever drink Bud Light again. I just don't know."

Your liver and sense of taste, not to mention that part of your brain that enjoys a good beer , thanks you.

What would she have been able to do with that beer? From what I understood from a friend who used to be a Bud girl, she can't drink it on the job...

I mean water is free from the tap, and that does a better job of getting you where you want to go that BL ever will...

I can understand not giving out samples while giving out promo mateials but to actual ask a potential customer to buy you, the sales rep one of their product for them, is both bizarre and I would think alienating.

Let's all, in unison, spell "Tilt" for them.

Is this campaign actually working?
If so, Phineas T. Barnum would have a field day if he were alive today.

Let's all spell "Tilt" for them

ps; To think a major corporation could learn marketing strategy from drug dealers is tragic.

You sure you were at Ropewalk talking to a BL girl, and not at the Hustler?

@Madisonn -- good point. I forgot about that.

@Odie B -- Isn't saying Bud Light reps shouldn't drink on the job something like saying baseball players shouldn't take steroids?

@GDA -- Seriously. You mean, you don't want to buy me a copy of today's Baltimore Sun? Hee hee.

@BC -- Hahahahaha. At the Hustler, that beer would have cost like $25 bucks.

Not surprising at all, considering the layoffs and other cost cutting measures that Anheuser-Busch/In-Bev have recently implemented!

And even a free Stella tastes like pure nasty

Maybe she is given money to SPEND on patrons, but if she deosnt spend it, she pockets it?

Sam -

I think you're on to something. You could sell autographed copies of the Sun.

$5 for a Sam Sessa autograph

$15 for a Dan Rodricks

$1000 for a David Simon autographed copy with a critique explaining why everything you're reading sucks.

I was at Magerks the day before Thanksgiving. The Bud Light girls were there, but only giving Bud Lights to those who were already drinking Bud Light... the whole time I thought they were ignoring my friend and I, but we were drinking Blue Moon.

I didn't realize PBR had reps. Have you told the hipsters about this? They may need to find a new "blue collar" beer.

Also Sam, Peroni tastes like dogfood. And yes, OLD MAN GNAR eats dogfood now and then. OLD WOMAN GNAR puts it in his cereal -it keeps him aggressive and feisty!

"From what I understood from a friend who used to be a Bud girl, she can't drink it on the job..."

That's the first thought that crossed my mind when I read this article as well ss2. I've even heard miller chill and beefeater girls say just that when drunken patrons offered to buy them a beer (or a gin infused product).

Granted, no one says they have to drink any beer a patron buys them, but nevertheless, this just sounds very, very odd.

This all makes sense now: The Bud Light girls get guys like Sam to buy them beers, then they hand them off as freebies to more affluent folks (read: non-journalists) as part of a "promotion."


@BA -- when they shunned me, I ashed my cigar on the floor, rammed it into the corner of my mouth and yelled "You'll neva werk in this town again, see? Neva!"

@OLDMANGNAR -- Ruff ruff.

@Ted -- I think David Simon might go for it. Heck, I'd go for it. $5? That's a sandwich. Pride? What pride? There's a recession on, you know.

I'm waiting for Bud Light to comment on this. I'm very disappointed. Very.

"There's a recession on, you know"
As my former Diamondback editor cousin used to say "Free? Of course! I'm a journalist, man..."

they hand them off as freebies to more affluent folks

Because affluent people drink Bud Light.

Sam, you have to stop wearing that fedora with your press pass tucked into the brim.

Oh come on, OMG. Let me poke fun at Sam. Most people are more affluent than newspaper reporters, after all.

Plus, more than half the beer sold in the US is A-B and the vast majority of that is Bud and Bud Light. So affluent people probably do drink Bud Light.

You really are a piece of work. This girl is trying to do her job and make a conversation (her job description) when you asked her to buy you a beer (not what they do. They give out beer if they have a spend).

The part you left out of your little blog was she said "I'm not allowed to buy you one. We don't have a spend here" then she said "Is'nt the guy supposed to buy the girl a beer". Their job was to push Stella. She might have had a poor choice of words but she was joking with you. It's called conversation. She wouldnt be allowed to drink it anyway idiot. Now that you changed her words to make it sound like she wanted to get drunk on the job she is getting punished.

All the things to write about and you choose to pray on two innocent girls. You change their words and might get them fired all for your little blog. You easily could have wrote this blog without saying "they wanted me to buy them a beer". You took that completely out of context.

Glad to see you did your part to help the "recession"

-pissed off boyfriend

I think that there is a misunderstanding. The BL girl's job is to DRIVE SALES and raise BRAND AWARENESS, not just to hand out free beer. I see budlight girls handing out beers to loyal patrons on a regular basis. What she should have said was "we aren't giving out free beer today". Most likely the promotion was not designed to have a bar spend. If you were at ropewalk during a game, the girls were most likely doing a tour of several bars in a 2-3 hours.

you choose to pray on two innocent girls.

Innocent girls don't need to be prayed upon.

So Bud sends angry boyfriends on tour with these Algonquin Round Tablers or do you live in Sam's fedora?

I don't normally consider pimping beer for a mega-corporation to be conversation.

Your little blog... hahaha. You tell him, Cap'n Anger

“The recession hits the Bud Light Rep Girls” Wow, what an innovated and exciting topic to be blogging about from the journalist that covers Baltimore city nightlife and local entertainment. I find it interesting that a journalist is so desperate to get a free beer. Maybe the blog should have been titled “ I am cheapskate, looking for a free beer”

The most amusing part of the blog was “What actually happened shocked and appalled me….” Appalled you? Come on…. get a clue. These girls are doing what’s in their job description, promoting beer. I mean obviously she did a good job promoting the beer with Sam. So much so that he decided to write a blog about it.

Is the real issue the free beer or the fact that she wouldn’t give you her number, when you asked?

“Has the whole world gone crazy? Has the Recession struck so deep that even corporate mega-giant beer conglomerates can’t afford a few pints on the house? This is just un-American. There, I said it.

And now, I don’t know if I’ll ever drink a Bud Light again. I just don’t know”


This my friend is a perfect example of a tool

I'll get you, my pretty, and your little blog too!

@Odie B -- Is that you, John Wayne? Is this me?

@ pissed off boyfriend -- At no point in the conversation did she say she was not allowed to buy me one or that she didn't have a "spend," which I'm assuming means an expense account. Also, where are you getting this second girl from? We only spoke with one. Your double vision seems to be getting the best of you. Don't worry -- it got the best of Foreigner too.

@Beerlove -- You see BL girls handing out beer to loyal patrons on a regular basis? Really? Where?

@D -- I'm glad you too find Midnight Sun "innovated" and "Exciting." Am I a "cheapskate" for wanting free beer? I see myself more as a selfish Robin Hood, pilfering pilsners from Bud Light and giving them to ... myself. As for your accusation that I petitioned a Bud Light girl for her cellular ... um, no, brah. Thanks for reading!

Brah? Oh your one of them guys? You got your degree from where?

Oh your welcome for reading, thanks for commenting on my post!

This stuff is hilarious.

yadda yadda homemade meth ...

Clearly industry people here with their corporate rage and fancy nouns like "spend".

Do you even read your own article "Sunday, I got to Ropewalk Tavern at the exact same time as a few Bud Light rep girls" So no I do not have double vision. There were two girls

Maybe you should read your other article "Were most bars semi-empty yesterday?" from the other day.

"We claimed three seats at the bar in the McFaul's room, no problem, and started knocking back beers. All drafts except for Arrogant Bastard were $2.50, and a few cold Peronis were just what the doctor ordered."

After kicking back all those beers I'm sure you don't even remember what anyone said to you. Can anyone write blogs for the Baltimore Sun? Apparently its fasionable to get drunk, harrass females, and then write about it.

Like I said before, don't you have anything else to write about?

D and M, to quote Sen. Barny Frank, "Trying to have a conversation with you would be like trying to argue with a dining room table. I have no interest in doing it."


Apparently its fasionable to get drunk, harrass females, and then write about it.

Sounds like my CV.

M, please meet me at Birches at 7. We need to talk.


Thanks for the response again!!

To quote Edgar Allan Poe, “That man is not truly brave who is afraid either to seem or to be, when it suits him, a coward.”


The whole concept of beer girls is dumb anyway, the money spent on beer girls should be diverted to something useful like a credit to the bar to make A-B products cheaper during the game, nobody cares about beer girls jeez..

As someone who was there, she never said "I'm not allowed to buy you one. We don't have a spend here"
Cuz I SURELY would have come up with a smart assed response to "spend".

to the members of the incredibly clever initial Bro's (m, D) chill. I realize you're anxious to get in on The Situation action coming to Mad River, but this is not the way get your pent up excitement out.

The Bud Light WOMAN needs to know how to sell product. Plain and Simple. Sam might be having a little fun at her expense, and if she loses her job over a silly snarky blog post, then her boss was looking for a way to fire someone anyway. But the bottom line is that these women are sales people. There are plenty of ways for hot, young women to get frumpy men to buy their own drinks. Instead of spouting corporate binderspeak, come up with something original lest you be accused of not being able to sell beers to someone sitting at a bar.
If she said , "I wouldn't buy a beer to a guy who already wasn't drinking Bud Lite" and laughed, it would have been awesome. And clever.

Dude, Sam, Dont Quote Barney Frank to win an argument. Ever. Please!

Good point MSA. If you can't sell a beer to to a guy already sitting at a bar drinking beer maybe you're in the wrong job.

Yeah the whole beer girl, Jaeger girl etc. is lame in a self-objectifying way. Here's how you sell beer to frumpy guys in bars: Bud Light Grandmas. Samuel, sit up straight and try one of these Stellas. There there, all gone. How about another? That's a good boy.

bottom line is that...
1."Why don't you guys buy me one?," quote is misleading
2. I agree with D that you are indeed a tool and that all of your commenting buddies are tools as well.
3. really? a jersey shore nod? you must have a better insult then that!

Since I am a tool, can I be a claw hammer? That seems like a cool tool.

Fist pump!

@M - I honestly can't believe you called johnnycat a tool. You totally crossed the line.

durn, i wish I had posted here, I'd like to be a screwdriver.

Ooo! Ooo!

I call chisel.

Thanks for keeping me entertained.

I guess I shouldnt say that I see the BL girls "all the time". I have seen them from time to time at The Reserve, Taps, Nobles and I think Stalking Horse too.

I wanna be a hammer drill. Can I be a Power Tool?

Sam stop praying on innocent girls! When they have a spend they will bye you beerz I promise!

Can we have a contest between the Bud Light girls and the Miller Lite girls?

Categories could be....

looks, who can open a beer quickest...

Big fan of the ML girls!

I have worked for a competing beer company for quite some time, and I was appalled at this story.

Are you really that cheap that you can't buy yourself a beer? And do you honestly feel that these girls should take money out of their own pockets to buy you one? Have you ever taken the time out to think that hey, maybe they have no control over if they have a spend at an account or not? I would likely guess no. I know first hand how difficult it is to spend 2 hours at one bar with no samples to provide to consumers. Usually shirts, keychains, etc are provided (key word usually) and even then they aren't enough to make everyone happy.

"I was ready and willing to slam back a few free Bud Lights", actually even if they did provide you a beer, that would be the only one. By law any given person is only allowed one sample. So just to clear the air to anyone who sees promo girls out, please don't think that we are there for you to drink for free all night. Our main goal is to encourage sales of the product at hand.

Yes the recession has hurt everyone, including "corporate mega-giant beer conglomerates". If you don't believe that then there is no hope for you. Even before the recession some accounts we went to still didn't warrant a spend. 9 times out of 10 there is a special on the brand put in place on the date and time that the girls are scheduled. This is for a reason! Most times the spends are reserved for new products (why would you buy something if you don't know you like it?) or special events. I will bet any amount of money that everyone has tried a Bud Light at one point in time. Why waste money to have you sample something you have already had before?! Would you rather the companies waste money on promotions and have to jack the prices of their beer up?? I bet you wouldn't buy the product then.

I think the comment that the girl made (something along the lines of "Isn't the guy suppose to buy the beer?") was meant to be flirtacious. She didn't outright say "Buy me a beer NOW!" I will bet she was just trying to be cute. It gets hard talking to hoards of people who are like you, and only want to drink for free all night.

Please remember that these girls have no control over a) if they have money to spend b) how much money they spend c) if they have giveaways d) how much giveaways they have. Believe me, our jobs would be a lot easier if we had plenty of both. We would prefer to have both to make life great on our part, and to make you happy as a consumer!! We feel that the specials we have at the bar are a good compromise.

To the person who mentioned that the girls were only giving beers to drinkers of that certain beer (you mentioned you were drinking Blue Moon). I did see fault in the girls here. One main thing the companies look for is the conversion rate (switching consumers from one brand to theirs). I would have gone to you and asked what specifically you like about Blue Moon (taste, cost, etc.) and see if I could recommend a beer that is comparable. I can't say for certain, but I would guess that they were doing a "buy one get one" that night (you buy your first beer, we'll buy the second one for you). If they only had a small amount of money to spend, this would be their best option. (They are guaranteeing that you are BUYING the first beer). Most likely this gets friends and other consumers intrigued and will get them to buy their brand as well, so they could get a second for "free".

Next time you write a blog about someone's job, please take into consideration some things that we are promotional models cannot control. If you were really that offended, try talking to the company the girls work for, instead of posting a blog about it.


Another angry beer girl surfaces. Meow.

Is this some kind of special shoot yourself in the foot PR month?

Yes the recession has hurt everyone, including "corporate mega-giant beer conglomerates". If you don't believe that then there is no hope for you.

Vee vill destroy you! Vee vill krush you mit our Spend tanks! Vee vill tear a swath of foamy less-filling terror through your land. You vill know us by the trail of dead!

Auf wiedersehn to you, hopeless blogger, and your puny blog.

I think I missed the memo when "spend" became a noun.

I do admire that someone cares about their job enough to write that long of a defensive comment about it. I openly bash my job every chance I get.

P.S. I don't know enough about tools to decide which one I want to be, but I'm open to suggestions. ;)

Normally I get all my financial and economic advice from beer girls, uh, promotional models, but I thought I might seek out some actual numbers.

Anheuser-Busch InBev Reports Q1 2009 Results; Profit Jumps Source: Anheuser-Busch InBev

Volume performance: Total 1Q09 volumes increased 0.9%, with own beer volumes up 0.5%, led by a 3.5% increase in Focus Brands with strong performances from Brahma, Skol, Bud Light, and Harbin. Soft drinks volumes grew 5.8%

Market share gains: YTD, we gained market share in seven of our key markets, namely Argentina, Belgium, Germany, UK, US, South Korea, and Ukraine


Yes the recession has hurt everyone, including "corporate mega-giant beer conglomerates". If you don't believe that then there is no hope for you.

... or is there?

Please post pictures of the scantily clad Bud Lights girls!

pissed off boyfriend - Innocent girls don't shill for beer companies


You'd think that being a beer girl is the equivalent of working for peace corps they way these ladies passionately defend their jobs. Nothing is worse than people who make up for their low self esteem by taking their jobs waaaaay too seriously.

Innocent girls? Come on, bring on the evil, twisted beer girls.

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About Erik Maza
Erik Maza is a features reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He writes for several sections of the Sun paper and contributes weekly columns on music and nightlife. He also writes and edits the Midnight Sun blog. He often covers entertainment, business, and the business of entertainment. Occasionally, he writes about Four Loko, The Block, the liquor board, and those who practice "simulated sex with a potted palm tree." Before The Sun, he was a reporter at the Miami New Times. He's also written for Miami magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Gainesville Sun. Got tips? Gripes? Pitches? He's reachable at Click here to keep up with the dumb music he's listening to.

Midnight Sun covers Baltimore music, live entertainment, and nightlife news. On the blog, you'll find, among other things, concert announcements, breaking news, bars closings and openings, up-to-date coverage of crime in nightlife, new music, round-the-clock coverage of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, handy guides on bars staying open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve and those that carry Natty Boh on draft. Recurring features include seven-day nightlife guides, Concert News, guest reviews of bars and concerts, Wednesday Corkboard, and photo galleries, as well as reader-submitted photos. Thanks for reading.

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