This past Monday we ran a piece from our friends at Three Sonorans that showed a Budwesier logo under the iconic "Sí se puede" image of the United Farm Workers, co-founded in 1962 by César Chávez and Dolores Huerta, to celebrate the UFW's 50th anniversary at its annual convention.
From a photo that shows very little context, the chatter and conversation—both on our community pages as well in other parts of the Latino online world—was trying to find answers about why a beer logo was placed under what has become an iconic image and a symbol of social justice and pride. Sí se puede has forever been linked to equality, fairness, heritage, and resolve. We can do it, we can make the world a better place.
Now, it appears that La Causa is being sponsored by Anheuser-Busch.
After getting the image and feedback from our readers, we decided to just ask the UFW and Anheuser-Busch about their relationship. We reached out to to both their media groups Monday and Tuesday via email, and we followed up with calls and more emails later in the week seeking comment. As of this evening, the UFW has not responded to our requests and has not returned our calls.
This is what we wrote them (twice):
We are requesting clarification or background regarding the following image that shows Budweiser signage under the UFW logo. Do you have a statement about this? Also would it be possible to have the following questions answered? If prefer a phone conversation, let us know whom we can talk to? Thanks.
Here are our questions:
1. Can you provide the context and background about the Budweiser logo being placed under the UFW "Sí se puede" logo?
2. Does the UFW have a sponsorship agreement with Budweiser?
3. How does the Budweiser logo reflect the principles of the UFW and its organization? Any additional comments or clarifications would be greatly appreciated. We would like to run a piece about this and make sure we get your perspective on this.
Still no word from the UFW.
In the meantime, there has been an informal social media campaign asking that the UFW reconsider its relationship with Anheuser-Busch. Here is more about this campaign.
This afternoon, Anheuser-Busch finally connected with us, after sending the same questions as the ones we asked the UFW. We contacted the company's 1-800 number and we did manage to speak with an employee in the PR department. The company has not issued an official statement about our questions due to the holiday weekend, but we were able to confirm from the company today that Anheuser-Busch has partnered with its local distributors to support several organizations important to the Latino community, including the United Farm Workers. We also got confirmation from the company that Anheuser-Busch did sponsor the UFW's historic anniversary convention.
If we get any more updates from either the UFW or Anheuser-Busch, we will share.