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Constellation Brands CEO responds to publicity related to virus outbreak

Feb 28, 2020

Credit Constellation Brands

Constellation Brands is responding to some recent negative publicity about the name of one of its top selling beers.

With the recent outbreak of the new coronavirus, it was perhaps inevitable that people would wonder, at least on social media, whether the name of the virus would cause any negative connotations for Corona Beer, a top selling brand for the Victor-based company.

A New York City-based firm called 5w Public Relations conducted a survey recently of American beer drinkers about their opinions of Corona after publicity about the coronavirus.

The survey found that 38% of beer-drinking Americans would not buy Corona under any circumstances now.

16% of the beer drinkers were confused about whether Corona beer is related to the virus; 4% said that they would stop drinking the beer, and 14% said they wouldn’t order Corona in a public venue.

Constellation’s President & CEO Bill Newlands came out with a statement on Friday which said in part:

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to those affected by this terrible virus and we hope efforts to more fully contain it gain traction soon.”

Newlands also wrote that, “It’s extremely unfortunate that recent misinformation about the impact of this virus on our business has been circulating in traditional and social media without further investigation or validation. These simply do not reflect our business performance and consumer sentiment, which includes feedback from our distributor and retailer partners across the country. We’ve seen no impact to our people, facilities or operations and our business continues to perform very well. Unlike many of competitors, sales of our beer brands are focused almost entirely on the U.S. market. Our company does not have much exposure to international markets such as China that have been most impacted by this situation.”