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Beer and Jeep Don't Mix

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Last night, Budweiser (BUD) reminded America that, more than anything else, Prohibition denied this country their tasteless beer for 13 years. This was after, at the very beginning of the game, the company’s Bud Light Platinum announcement struck many as a compelling argument for reinstating the 18th amendment.

Well, here’s something else from the intersection of alcohol and bad (marketing) decisions. China’s Hubei Jeep Brewing Company now sells “Jeep Beer.”

Unfortunately, the beer doesn’t appear to be sponsored by Jeep. While a Chinese company may own the trademark for Apple’s (AAPL) iPad, Chrysler still holds the rights to the word Jeep, and, for some reason, they don’t want to pair beer too closely with driving. At least I hope they don’t.

Yesterday, the Haohao Report pointed out the beer company’s strange naming choice. Apparently, it goes a little further than pairing beer with a vehicle that many are tempted to take off-roading after a few, well, beers.

First off, the company currently has a promotion that promises distributors who sell more than 60,000 liters of the beer will be entered to win a free Jeep. There’s no word yet on a winner.

Beyond that, the company may raise the ire of another, fairly well established brand. Jeep Beer’s label copies Heineken’s famous red star logo and the look of the Dutch beer’s letter E. Of course, as we’ve reported, Heineken isn’t that popular in China, so maybe it’s an honest mistake.  

Probably not though. Hubei Jeep Brewing is also responsible for AOBULL Beer, whose label sports a red bull that looks eerily similar to another famous charging bull. Luckily for Hubei, Red Bull is already suing another Chinese company for copyright infringement so they’re busy.

All of this goes to show that the knockoff market is alive and well in China. And, compared to the faking of an entire Apple Store, turning a car into a beer seems like small potatoes.

Besides, it’s not like Hubei were the first people to pair Jeep with beer.
POSITION:  No positions in stocks mentioned.