Boycotting Is a Slippery Slope

Discussion in 'Article Comments' started by BeerAdvocate, Aug 8, 2017.

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  1. BeerAdvocate

    BeerAdvocate Founders (16,536) Aug 23, 1996 Massachusetts

    Rather than call for a boycott, we’d rather bring some awareness to the issues, share our opinion, host the discussion, and allow consumers to decide what’s best for them.

    Read the full article: Boycotting Is a Slippery Slope
  2. AZBeerDude72

    AZBeerDude72 Poo-Bah (2,097) Jun 10, 2016 Arizona
    Society Trader

    Very good article and one that does open your eyes to the whole picture. It is a tough spot. I totally get your position and don't hold any issue towards taking dollars from big beer. I understand business and how it all works, so I would be doing the same thing. The key factor is education, and I feel BA provides an in-depth amount of info to educate everyone so you know what it what. With that said you can make choices on what to consume etc. I for one don't boycott or pass on big beer. I tend to support local/craft but I also consume my fair share of the big boys because that is life. I attend concerts, sporting events, etc. and that is what is sold, so I enjoy myself and the beer.
    Cheers and good article.....
  3. Beernut9230

    Beernut9230 Initiate (0) Aug 17, 2016 New York

    Always respect the brew no matter who is distributing.. elysian shorts lagunitas ballast point always made exceptional beer until they sold out right? Please stop the bullshit
  4. Premo88

    Premo88 Poo-Bah (1,912) Jun 6, 2010 Texas
    Society is welcome to do whatever "selling out" it must in order to survive as far as I'm concerned. It's invaluable as a resource for beer -- macro, craft, big, independent, homebrewed and otherwise. And in five years of doing reviews on here and reading/positing in the forums, I've not once encountered anything untoward in terms of and conflicting interests.
  5. reefer_bob

    reefer_bob Disciple (307) May 13, 2014 California

    I chose to not consume "craft beer" owned by large corporations. That doesn't mean I don't drink beer from large corporations.

    In my PERSONAL opinion, drinking Corporate Craft Beer undermines what craft beer stands for. I hope that my boycott of Corporate Craft Beer impacts their bottom dollar somehow and they chose to go other routs.

    Do I boycott Corporate Beer? No. Bud/Miller/Coors have their place in the beer drinking world, I will drink a Bud Light from time to time. Craft Beer is not going to kill large beer ever. I just hope that Craft Beer can hold it's own against Corporate Craft Beer.

    Cheers and drink what you like. I won't judge you.
    IPAExpert69 and Loops like this.
  6. surfcaster

    surfcaster Zealot (566) Apr 20, 2013 North Carolina

    I am just amazed of the mindset of so many folks today. People use this site and ones like it with no out of pocket costs to themselves and somehow have become so entitled that they can inject themselves into how it is run.

    I am sure your response was more measured than mine would have been.
  7. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,535) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    At the end of the day it is all about the beer in the bottle/can/keg,...

    We all get to decide what beers we are willing to purchase and pour down our gullets.

    It's all good!!

  8. surfcaster

    surfcaster Zealot (566) Apr 20, 2013 North Carolina

    Agree 100% but the concept that someone is boycotting a free site?

    They probably threaten the TV as well.:wink:
  9. McFinniganOfTheFinnigans

    McFinniganOfTheFinnigans Initiate (111) Apr 20, 2017 Maine

    It's hard because one ad whether full, half or quarter spread from someone like ABI could pay for a lot vs needing multiple ads from multiple brands to equal what you received. However, it all depends on what you're looking to do.
    Lone_Freighter likes this.
  10. denver10

    denver10 Poo-Bah (2,936) Nov 17, 2010 New Mexico

    If that reader hadn't already stopped supporting this site/magazine, I'd imagine that reader has now after being called out in front of everyone.

    As for the topic at hand....

    It is disappointing, IMO, to see a company that has been pretty anti-InBev from my observations, go ahead and promote a company they don't agree with. To me, that is the difference between Beer Advocate and the other examples presented, like bars selling their product....assuming, of course, those other examples don't have an anti-InBev platfrom.

    How disappointing is it to me? Eh, not that much. Next time I read an Anti-InBev rant from anyone associated with this site, I might pay a little less attention to it than I had prior, but that's about it.
  11. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (2,413) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina
    Society Trader

    I get enough of the politiical bullshit, this is a beer site and it's about beer. I support that, and because you allow advertising space isn't necessarily an endorsement, it's only business. The In Bev Hate is out of control. I'll drink what I like no matter who's the controlling interist. See the craft brewers made their decesion they sold, don't like it bitch at them, but for the most part the beers are left alone and have better distribution.
  12. dlcarst

    dlcarst Initiate (100) Aug 21, 2015 Illinois

    So last month it's "stop the zombie beer brand apocalypse" and "support independent brewers" and this month it's "boycotting is a slippery slope and we're against it." While these aren't exactly opposite statements, there is certainly some contradiction there. Every beer purchased as a result of a Big Beer ad is a loss of support for independent brewers.

    But I get it. We should boycott buying the brands themselves, not necessarily those who make money from the brands. I'll still go to my local bar that is half AB taps, but I won't buy any GI there, even when they have BCBS on draft. Maybe I'll even let the owner know I know some Belgian conglomerate owns half his taps and encourage him to get more local brews, and that I'd be happy to pay an extra dollar per beer for them so he can make up for the significant price difference I know exists between AB beers and others. Likewise, I'll read BA even if they have GI and Lagunitas ads, but I'll get on this forum and encourage BA to stop running them, unless they come up with some sort of zombie beer brand alert disclaimer.
    ceanderson, cjgiant, Alexmc2 and 10 others like this.
  13. jvgoor3786

    jvgoor3786 Poo-Bah (1,867) May 28, 2015 Arkansas
    Society Trader

    Nice article. If you boycott AB products, then why not Walmart or Tyson's or Home Depot or Google? Most of them are as bad or worse than AB. Why selectively boycott one big business while giving your dollars to others? Most all have the same business practices.
  14. bbtkd

    bbtkd Poo-Bah (7,643) Sep 20, 2015 South Dakota
    Society Trader

    I generally disagree with boycotting anything - usually has no effect, and in the meantime I am not buying something I want. AB/InBev ican afford to take whatever microscopic impact a handful of boycotters cause, but it could hurt BeerAdvocate. I can understand some readers reacting to BeerAdvocate carrying an AB/InBev ad, and I can understand the business reasons for BeerAdvocate carrying it.

    What would BeerAdvocate do if AB/InBev wanted to book a 10 page ad in the next issue, showcasing their crafty and macro beers? That would be tough money to turn down, but it would certainly alienate more than a handful of subscribers if you ran it.
    #14 bbtkd, Aug 9, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2017
  15. weaselpiss

    weaselpiss Initiate (77) Jun 5, 2011 Minnesota

    Reminds me of the times when musicians were accused of being sell outs because their songs appeared in ads. Now, a musician almost has to say yes to that to have a chance to make a living. Support your artists and creators and Brewers. They put their money and time on the line. I hope they do make money and succeed.
    Ranbot, LuskusDelph and Loops like this.
  16. Retroman40

    Retroman40 Zealot (527) Dec 7, 2013 Florida

    BA has IMO really nailed it in the last two issues with pieces on education and transparency. It doesn't matter to me if it's beer or business practice (or for that matter the business practices of beer!); give me the info and I'll make my own call on whether to buy or not.

    As far as accepting advertising from "corporate" craft or craft(y) beer so what? BA readers know the facts.
    cjgiant, HopsAreDaMan, bbtkd and 2 others like this.
  17. Squire

    Squire Poo-Bah (2,429) Jul 16, 2015 Mississippi
    Society Trader

    The way I see it BA puts out a great magazine and if they can get ABInbev to help pay for it that's a win-win.
  18. socon67

    socon67 Poo-Bah (2,261) Jun 18, 2010 New York

    I'm not a big fan of boycotting any products; at least to this point there hasn't been one that garnered that sort of reaction.

    This article seems to be slight course correction from the "Beer Zombie Apocalypse" of last month. I greatly enjoy that BA content is free on the website, and if ABI advertisements make that happen I'm fine. But if we are calling craft bands that sell out to the megacorps "soulless" and a lingering infestation, it does seem confusing to have those brands advertise to the craft beer community.

    Again, I'm happy to have BA as a resource and any advertiser to me is helping support that resource. If anything, as consumers we should know about the products we buy and decide if it matters to us where we put our purchases.
    Hookstrat and Tdizzle like this.
  19. dennis3951

    dennis3951 Meyvn (1,007) Mar 6, 2008 New Jersey

    Do you think any Red Sox fans will boycott you for taking ad $$ from the Yankees?
    LuskusDelph, Loops and steveh like this.
  20. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (2,957) Mar 12, 2009 New York
    Society Trader

    Great article. Concise points that all of us should consider. Pointing out the self-defeating inconsistency that dooms all of these ABI boycotts to failure best point made IMO.
    LuskusDelph, eppCOS, Loops and 3 others like this.
  21. EMH73

    EMH73 Poo-Bah (2,239) Sep 16, 2015 New York
    Society Trader

    Very well done article. I for one see no problem in accepting advertising dollars from "big beer." Their money is as green as anyone else. My one question, is this woman a supporter of your website?
    LuskusDelph, Dragginballs76 and Todd like this.
  22. Loops

    Loops Initiate (57) Feb 13, 2014 Missouri

    This is beer advocate, not Craft Advocate or Anti AB-Inbev Advocate. This website is about the promotion of beer and the consumers who enjoy it. We are not always going to be on the same page on what we drink and support. Cheers!!!!!!!
  23. shelby415

    shelby415 Savant (932) Oct 10, 2011 Oregon

    I think, if I read the article right, she was not complaning about the site but about an ad in the magazine (for which I assume she paid).

    Not like that gives her any more right to determine advertising, but she has the right to drop her subscription.
  24. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,535) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    I agree with you that this forum should just simply be beer advocate.

    @dlcarst astutely posted above: "So last month it's "stop the zombie beer brand apocalypse" and "support independent brewers"..."

    So, it is not always clear what the specific advocacy is on this forum.

    Loops, LeRose and rodbeermunch like this.
  25. shelby415

    shelby415 Savant (932) Oct 10, 2011 Oregon

    I am all for boycotting companies who don't line up with what I think are ethical practices. Sometimes it's difficult, but that's the only power I have.

    Unlike some sites BA is a site that is thoughtful and honest about where they stand on issues of Big Beer and forthright when accepting ad revenue from them. I understand where people like Sadie are coming from, but where does it end? Do I have to move because the city I live in allows Walmart to advertise on the bus kiosks? I liked the article, but I don't think BA even needs to defend themselves.
  26. Todd

    Todd Founder (6,028) Aug 23, 1996 California
    Staff Moderator Fest Crew Society

    Not to my knowledge. She's a reader of the mag who decided to dangle her future support over our heads unless we stopped taking money from AB InBev.

    For the record, the last time we did was issue #122 (March 2017) and our team reports there's nothing in the sales funnel right now.
  27. Todd

    Todd Founder (6,028) Aug 23, 1996 California
    Staff Moderator Fest Crew Society

    This forum is, and always has been, a collection of varying opinions.
  28. Lone_Freighter

    Lone_Freighter Poo-Bah (7,629) Jun 4, 2017 Vermont

    I understand that this is "beer advocate," a website dedicated to bringing awareness to all about all beer, craft or non-craft beer and allowing anyone with an opinion to review any and all beers and places.

    However, just like we're seeing in these older breweries that are at a "fork in the road" of how they wish to continue their business, some of them are at the juncture to take the money from big beer or not? In turn, I understand that this is the Bros' website and they should do as they please with their website, a lot of us have the luxury of being able to be here. None of us have the right to review or "sound off" on beer advocate, keep this in mind. Yes, they will keep this site going with what they can get and for how they see fit, but I hope this quote will remain in their hearts and minds:
    "We’ve always had a firewall between our content and ads." This is what counts the most!

    In defense of Sadie/partly playing devil's advocate here as it seems there's a bunch of people quickly jumping on Sadie's back. Rhetorically, what is exactly the "slippery slope" behind the scenes of it all? After reading @McFinniganOfTheFinnigans post, I am curious to wonder what "it all depends on what you're looking to do." I do find it odd that one person who threatened to stop supporting Beer Advocate sparked this article. Five months ago, Sadie decided to speak up about the ad that bugged her and then this article comes out this week? But keep in mind, "AB rarely advertises with us [BA] these days." I'm wondering what "these days" actually mean in terms of calender days because apparently they'll (AB) let one of their subsidiaries- 10 Barrel to have an ad that was only back in March of this year.

    One more thing - "boycotting" is a strong term and can be construed a negative one but am I in the wrong if I choose to drink water when I'm at a bar that doesn't have the beer that I want?
    VABA likes this.
  29. Todd

    Todd Founder (6,028) Aug 23, 1996 California
    Staff Moderator Fest Crew Society

    No. She emailed us recently about an ad that ran in March. She's also not the first reader to dangle their support over an ad that they didn't agree with, but her email was a tipping point for us.
  30. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Champion (886) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania
    Society Trader

    Disappointing and at least moderately duplicitous.

    It absolutely IS an endorsement. You don't have to accept advertising money from anyone, just like the breweries of The High End didn't have to sell out to ABI.

    The cognitive dissonance is REAL.

    capehaze, Vtaranto, tzieser and 5 others like this.
  31. Lone_Freighter

    Lone_Freighter Poo-Bah (7,629) Jun 4, 2017 Vermont

    Oh, okay, I can understand now for the first part.

    Yes, I read the article. However, I guess I'm trying to understand this whole "slippery slope" thing that seems to "want" to criminalize "boycotting." If it's one's beliefs to not support big beer, why is that person wrong? So you lose the Sadie's of the world support, is it that big of a deal? I'm guessing they don't make up a large portion of supportive efforts for BA. Life moves on.
    I mean if I were in your shoes, I understand that you have a business to run - I get it, but why run ads of big beer at all? But I guess that could mean "being selective" then. But we all know there's many other breweries that do have the funds for ad support.
    capehaze, VABA and Tdizzle like this.
  32. EMH73

    EMH73 Poo-Bah (2,239) Sep 16, 2015 New York
    Society Trader

    What's getting me about this whole discussion is that if we looked carefully at any business that we purchase from we could find something about their business dealings, political viewpoints, hiring process, religious viewpoints, beliefs or any number of other things that we disagree with. Therefore we could come up with a reason to boycott every company. We need to filter out what is really important in the big picture and not sweat the small stuff such as BA accepting an ad from an AB owned brewery.
  33. dripa8

    dripa8 Initiate (189) Sep 19, 2014 Kansas

    except for @EvenMoreJesus, I don't see the usual anti inbev crowd railing on the bros for accepting the money. Yes, they have a business to run, and my opinion won't matter to them, but they are indeed being very contradictory in their statements against big beer and their taking the bucks from same. I myself am a capitalist and don't really care who makes the money as long as the product doesn't regress, so I have no problem with it. But you anti everything big people are being very quiet. Why aren't you speaking truth to power(the bros)?
  34. Davepoolesque

    Davepoolesque Poo-Bah (3,136) Aug 25, 2012 Massachusetts
    Society Trader

    People look at ads?
  35. LifeOfTheBeer

    LifeOfTheBeer Initiate (0) Aug 8, 2017 Massachusetts

    We live in a capitalistic society and to stay in business you have to do what you have to do. I have no qualms with that.
    LuskusDelph likes this.
  36. LeRose

    LeRose Meyvn (1,442) Nov 24, 2011 Massachusetts

    I think the last two words in the article (and one of the foundation principles of this website) say it all - Respect Beer. I completely agree, from what I have learned, that we probably shouldn't like the business and marketing practices of an ABI. Does the beer really have nothing to do with it?

    My view has changed substantially as we're looking at inevitability here. Buyouts and mergers are going to continue and there's not a whole lot anybody can do to stop them. It's reality and maybe to some it is an "ugly truth" of the business. Sooner or later, one of my binkies will be bought out, I'm sure. When that day comes, I might have to think about it a little, but I have moved into the neutrality camp for now from the "vote with your wallet" enclave.

    As far as the site, I would hope this remains a place where people can discuss all of these things freely. That includes the magazine, where the writers are free to editorialize and offer their opinions just like we do on the forums. What I would not want to see is the open promotion of an agenda one way or the other.
    capehaze, JMFBOSTON, frozyn and 6 others like this.
  37. HouseofWortship

    HouseofWortship Champion (812) May 3, 2016 Illinois

    As long as you are charging for your ads based on a brewer's bbl volume I see no issue with taking ABI's money....:grin:
    cjgiant, LuskusDelph, frozyn and 2 others like this.
  38. dennis3951

    dennis3951 Meyvn (1,007) Mar 6, 2008 New Jersey

    More than many admit to. Often people don't even know they are.
    LuskusDelph, meefmoff and TongoRad like this.
  39. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (4,006) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    The cool thing about that is that if folks aren't aware of the ad (or that something is an ad) it's effects are also less noticable. :wink:
    #39 drtth, Aug 9, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2017
  40. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,535) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Amen to that!

    A simple question, which you can feel to ignore, have you recognized an "open promotion of an agenda" here?

    LuskusDelph and LeRose like this.
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