The Fight Over Watered-Down Budweiser Heats Up
The world turned upside down when rumors broke that Kansas City, Mo.'s Anheuser-Busch was watering down its beer; now, the "whistle-blower" that started the feud between Budweiser lovers and AB-InBev has only just begun.
Bloomberg News reports that ex-AB-InBev worker James Clark has been sued by Anheuser-Busch for "misappropriating trade secrets" and claiming that the company was watering down its beers. The company says that Clark, formerly a director of operations support who had previous positions in quality assurance, didn't follow company procedure for filing confidential complaints. Since then, eight lawsuits have been filed against AB-InBev for allegedly adding water to its lineup of beers, including Bud Ice, Budweiser, Busch Ice, and Michelob. Naturally, AB-InBev denies the claims, and has since gone on a publicity blitz to prove the public otherwise.
Clark, on the other hand, says that AB-InBev is using the lawsuit to intimidate him into silence. Said Clark's lawyer Robert Carichoff in the filing, the lawsuit "is designed to silence Mr. Clark and to punish him for standing up for consumers... To allow AB to proceed with this vindictive litigation would empower all employers to punish former employees like Mr. Clark for reporting misconduct and for speaking out on behalf of consumers."