Qatar’s tax hike on alcohol presents World Cup headache for Budweiser

World Cup 2022 hosts Qatar has introduced a 100-per-cent alcohol tax – presenting a new sales challenge for Fifa’s official beer sponsor Budweiser at the tournament.

The tax increase doubles the price of beer and spirits in the country, which has upped the tax rate in order to combat ‘health-damaging’ alcohol consumption.

AB InBev-owned Budweiser already faced limitations on sales distribution for the World Cup in Qatar.

It is illegal to drink alcohol in public in Qatar, but Budweiser and other alcoholic drinks will be available in hotels and ‘designated areas’ such as fan parks.

Last month, Budweiser hired the Interpublic-owned Deutsch New York for a ‘global soccer marketing assignment’ that is likely to focus on Qatar 2022, according to the advertising industry platform AdAge.

“We are exploring a new agency model to balance traditional and disruptive marketing,” the brewer said in a statement.

Budweiser claims that it was the most-talked-about brand on digital and social platforms at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

The campaign covered more than 50 countries and was described by the brewer as the largest campaign in its history.

Read: ‘Budweiser’s World Cup spend to drive sales and share of voice’