BrewDog’s launch of a pink “beer for girls”, which the Scottish brewery positioned as a marketing initiative to raise awareness about gender pay inequality and sexist advertising, continues to generate criticism long after its limited release..
Here’s the deal…
Brewed to coincide with International Women’s Day in March, BrewDog’s Pink IPA was essentially a repackaging of its flagship Punk IPA that came with a pledge to sell it at fifth cheaper in its bars to “those who identify as women.” A discount that was intended to reflect the 18.1% average gender pay gap between men and women in the UK.
And there’s no doubt that when BrewDog dubbed this release “Beer For Girls” (satirically or not) they were already on dangerous turf. But when they dressed its label in in pink (good cause or not) they might have overplayed an already muddied hand.
We called it a marketing fail then and we stand by that call, however we didn’t think it was such an atrocious misstep on the punk brewer’s part that after countless apologies the company needed to be further criticized.
But that’s evidently the Independent Complaints Panel at the Portman Group’s job. And that UK organization set up in 1989 to promote responsible drinking practices has finally weighed in on the matter.
And it RULED that BrewDog’s use of the phrase ‘Beer for Girls” on the special edition version of BrewDog’s Punk IPA could potentially appeal to those under 18 breaching the regulatory body’s code of practice.
According to the Drinks Business the complaints panel’s position was that while it “understood that the company had intended for the term to be used ironically, they believed that its use had been misinterpreted, which was reflected in the company’s need to post a blog after the initial launch of the product clarifying the meaning of the campaign.”
“The panel further noted that the primary definition of ‘girls’ and likewise ‘boys’ related to children and expressed concern about the use of either term on an alcoholic drink.”
Responding to the Independent Complaints Panel ruling, BrewDog was, well, BrewDog…
This from a brewery spokesperson…
“As a one-off campaign aimed squarely at satirizing gender stereotypes on International Women’s Day, we’re comfortable it was no more aimed at underage drinkers than it was genuinely targeted at women.
“We’re as bothered about this Portman Group ruling as we are any other – that is, not at all.”
All image credits: BrewDog