Brewbound Editor Leaves After Publicly Disparaging Female Influencers' Instagram Accounts

Discussion in 'Beer News & Releases' started by Todd, Jul 25, 2019.

  1. Todd

    Todd Founder (5,646) Aug 23, 1996 California
    Staff Moderator Fest Crew

    Premo88 likes this.
  2. Alexmc2

    Alexmc2 Zealot (534) Jul 29, 2006 Massachusetts

    This is unfortunate IMO. While I didn't get to hear the offending content, what I've seen written about it honestly doesn't seem that bad. So called "influencers" who provide low quality content (and frankly low numbers of followers) shouldn't be protected simply because they happen to be female. But hey, people are offended at everything now right?
  3. beertunes

    beertunes Poo-Bah (6,084) Sep 24, 2007 Northern Mariana Islands

    I don't use IG, but, just by looking at my UT page, it's not just "influencers" showing cleavage and beer. If this reporters story is accurate, these guys are getting hosed.
    Kahunapig, Gatch, Zorro and 6 others like this.
  4. deadwolfbones

    deadwolfbones Initiate (113) Jun 21, 2014 Oregon

    It's a complicated subject, IMO.

    I personally think it's pretty tacky/pandering to men's basest instincts to use boobs to get follows, but on the other hand a lot of those women are serious beer nerds with valid perspectives on the industry, and as a woman in what has traditionally been a man's industry it can be hard to get views/attention. It's also not right for men to say what women should or shouldn't do with their physical assets—if they want to use them in that way, that's their prerogative.

    That said, I don't think anyone should lose their job for saying they think it's tacky. Could Chris have had a more nuanced take on it? Sure. Was anything he said beyond the pale? Nah.
  5. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (3,942) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Well said!
  6. deadwolfbones

    deadwolfbones Initiate (113) Jun 21, 2014 Oregon

    IMO the better course of action would have been an honest mea culpa acknowledging that he blanket dismissed an entire class of people as "chicks" and a more in-depth follow-up discussion regarding the place of influencers in beer culture and the ways women have to ingratiate themselves in the industry.

    But maybe Chris wasn't into that and firing was management's response. Maybe management didn't give him the chance. Who knows.
    Damian, LeRose, the_trystero and 5 others like this.
  7. Prince_Casual

    Prince_Casual Disciple (324) Nov 3, 2012 District of Columbia

    I disagree with that, frankly. If I go on Instagram I get tons of women showing T&A with cigars, beer, scotch, etc. It doesn't seem like the ones who are in lingerie or bathing suits in every picture are serious about _______, and I also find it tacky as fuck (and I'm not sure why I am targeted since I'm never liking or looking for T&A pics on IG at all, much less related to my hobbies/vices).

    It also makes it 25x harder for the women who ARE actually interesting characters and/or serious about whatever they are #HashTagging, who are trying to have a grownup opinion and not just have their arse hanging out in a picture with an out of focus beer can somewhere in the frame.

    I think if you actually believe women should stand on equal footing than you'd actually be against this lowest common denominator garbage content. I am not saying it shouldn't exist, as it's not particularly offensive, but it is serious bottom feeder shit and you're definitely not "anti-women" for saying it's crass or garbage content. I'd argue the opposite in fact.
  8. deadwolfbones

    deadwolfbones Initiate (113) Jun 21, 2014 Oregon

    Yeah, there's an entire spectrum of female beer influencers/bloggers/enthusiasts/brewers out there. Some of them are clearly just in it for the $$$ and others are legit. Some are somewhere in between. It's no different when it comes to men in the same positions, except that no one wants to see a dude hang dong next to a beer.

    I didn't hear the podcast, so I don't know which women Chris dissed, specifically.
  9. canihaveyourbeer

    canihaveyourbeer Initiate (27) Jul 26, 2015 Massachusetts

    There are some, like hoppyfloppy, who literally just show their tits with a beer and provide zero value. Then there are ones that Chris mentioned, like Beer Bitty, who don't even come close to anything like that, or Beer is a Carb who was a brewer at Modern Times, has a super unique look, is a lesbian, and has great content. It was a weird way to attack the superfluous accounts because he included the legitimate accounts from the list they were discussing.
  10. Reneejane

    Reneejane Devotee (440) Jan 15, 2004 Illinois

    I don’t think he should lose his job over those comments. I don’t think they are invalid criticism, either. It’s ok to criticize advertising. Instagram is a very weird social media thing. I’ve only just gotten onto it and the influencer gig seems a bit strange, regardless of what you’re posting.

    As a woman, into beer, (and I’ve been on this site a long time, sporadically), it is annoying to be dismissed. Criticizing Instagram accounts for excessive breastage in photographs is not the same as criticizing beer knowledge.
  11. Roguer

    Roguer Poo-Bah (4,235) Mar 25, 2013 Georgia
    Moderator Society Trader

    Well, there is an interesting parallel debate that few (if any?) are touching:

    1) Fundamentally, it is 100% OK for women to represent themselves however they please, including "provocative" social media posts if that happens to be their bent.

    2) Hypothetically, even those whose posts are predominantly cleavage shots and clearly pandering to the traditional male needs and desires are just as valid as any other - as they are choosing how to express themselves, in whatever way they choose, and your judgment should not infringe upon their right to choose the mileau of their self expression.

    3) Therefore, the current trend is to protect expression. Not to go after or attack what one might find unsavory, or tacky, or pandering, but to suggest that they are well within their rights to express themselves in whatever way they see fit.

    4) Logically, then .... both male and female bloggers, journalists, and commentators should feel just as free and protected in their right to express themselves, correct? Including critiquing - not silencing, not attacking, but critiquing - those same "influencers" choosing to express themselves primarily via traditional gender roles and sexualization? For stating their opinion that someone whose posts are more about selling sex than about a nuanced or informed discussion about beer (or whatever topic may be at hand) is detracting from the main public discourse?

    I really do fail to see how the public outrage machine has objectively determined which forms of self expression are protected, and which are condemned. I am an unabashed progressive, supportive of minority rights perhaps to a fault (or even extreme, to some points of view), but what I will never support is hypocrisy or contradiction. Without further context, this reeks precisely of that.
    Shanex, tylerstubs, mtangaa and 23 others like this.
  12. KarlHungus

    KarlHungus Poo-Bah (3,083) Feb 19, 2005 Minnesota

    What exactly is a beer influencer?
  13. thesherrybomber

    thesherrybomber Aspirant (276) Jun 13, 2017 California
    Society Trader

    Why is there so much immaturity in the beer industry? I don't hear these sort of things happening in the whiskey or wine worlds...
  14. deadwolfbones

    deadwolfbones Initiate (113) Jun 21, 2014 Oregon

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  15. KarlHungus

    KarlHungus Poo-Bah (3,083) Feb 19, 2005 Minnesota

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  16. GetMeAnIPA

    GetMeAnIPA Zealot (589) Mar 28, 2009 California

    If I want to see boobs I go the unlimited free porn sites online. If I want to see, talk or learn about beer I go to BA.
  17. GetMeAnIPA

    GetMeAnIPA Zealot (589) Mar 28, 2009 California

    The entry cost. You can be a beer nerd and get highly sought after beer much cheaper than hard to find whiskey or wine.

    Loses it’s appeal with a 5 buck chuck wine and some cleavage. Now pair a $5 can of a monkish hazy with some cleavage you got thousands of likes and you now an influencer.
  18. CheapHysterics

    CheapHysterics Aspirant (224) Apr 1, 2009 Pennsylvania

    People are stupid.
    storm72, flat_lander, NJM and 10 others like this.
  19. CheapHysterics

    CheapHysterics Aspirant (224) Apr 1, 2009 Pennsylvania

    I must be getting old. I remember when it was two buck Chuck (and the cleavage didn't have to be paired with anything).
    schteve, Squire and Roguer like this.
  20. mig100

    mig100 Meyvn (1,360) Aug 3, 2014 Texas
    Society Trader

    Ridiculous. If you can't shoot from the hip on a podcast, what's the point? The president gets away with far worse and keeps his job. Although, that's setting the bar low I guess.
    MMoore1971, Shanex, mtangaa and 4 others like this.
  21. beertunes

    beertunes Poo-Bah (6,084) Sep 24, 2007 Northern Mariana Islands

    Somehow, these fools make a buck or two. I dunno. I admit that I am not the target demographic, but, still, I don't get why "Influencers " can even be a thing.

    Are modern consumers that easily, influenced (swayed)? (Surprise! Yes!)

    I like boobies. I do not mind when one of my UT friends posts that type of pic. It's that person's choice.

    I also have female friends who are equally as beer knowledgeable as anybody I know about beer, many who work in the industry. Their attitude, generally, seems to be " HEY! I'm the one out here hustling sales and tossing kegs. I know my shit!" And yet, .....

    @KarlHungus , the current marketing landscape may not suit our personal preferences. But, it is an actual thing. Shrug.

    Adapt, resist (strongly) when one can, but, grudgingly accept the the changes.

    Shrug. Many folks are not a fan of my suggestions, but, life goes forward.
  22. rozzom

    rozzom Champion (836) Jan 22, 2011 New York

    When it comes to beer, I don’t know anything specific to the mechanics of a beer influencer (as the only beer things I follow on Instagram are a handful of local breweries / bars) but I can give you a more in depth example of how it works in another space.

    I ride (or rather rode - I have two small kids now, so am more peripherally involved these days) for a bike team here in NYC. I’m not savvy with social media. Same applies to half the team. But there are ~10 guys who are very instagram-savvy who by this point 5 years ago had built up a pretty organic follower-base due to coming from the fixed gear scene and posting some well-curated content with all the currently trending themes/hashtags etc.

    So at this point 5 years ago these 10 guys probably collectively have around 300,000 unique followers, the vast majority of which are people who are involved/interested in the bike scene.

    Now at this point Global Sportswear Megabrand XYZ (if you think of the 2-3 biggest brands in the world, this will be one of them), who had been involved in cycling apparel in the distant past, is looking to make a reentry to the market.

    Obviously there are lots of amateur bike teams out there. But ours is definitely above average when it comes to recognizable online personas. So they reached out and offered to sponsor our team. The retail value of an annual kit drop is probably ~$20-25k (and obviously the actual cost to them is a small fraction), but they have 300,000 bike fans seeing their kit being actively tagged in daily posts. So it’s a very very cost effective marketing tool, to go alongside the more traditional marketing/advertising methods.

    Sorry for the long winded post. But just giving an example to you old uns of where the monetary value of an “influencer” can lie; it’s more than just having lots of followers.
    TheGent, lucius10, beertunes and 6 others like this.
  23. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (2,596) Mar 12, 2009 New York

    I know there are women who post beer pics of themselves in skimpy clothing posing provocatively who are serious beer experts. I know there are guys who post videos of themselves chugging bombers of imperial stout who are serious beer experts. I guess it is just my own prejudices that makes it hard to think of them in that way.
  24. rgordon

    rgordon Savant (959) Apr 26, 2012 North Carolina

    Exactly. Personally, I despise the term.
  25. KarlHungus

    KarlHungus Poo-Bah (3,083) Feb 19, 2005 Minnesota

    'Influencer' sounds like something a mom would say when talking about the kids in middle school who smoke pot.
    #25 KarlHungus, Jul 26, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2019
  26. southdenverhoo

    southdenverhoo Disciple (382) Aug 13, 2004 Colorado

    Reading through the blurbs on each of these women, it appears Chris was wrong about their qualifications and, I’m assuming, the quality of their content. I mean some of them are professional brewers. But as to several of them, he’s not wrong about what the attached photos are emphasizing. On the other hand, he lumped the male influencers as generally valid and the female influencers, as a group, generally invalid, and this is misogyny, Probably unconscious misogyny, but there it is.

    I don’t think he had to go, I think there were other ways this could have been handled, but it’s not my sandbox.

    And, give Brewbound credit, they are walking the walk and it’s not going to be easy. Think about this, have you read a Brewbound link in the last, what, 5 years that did not have a Chris Furnari byline? I don’t think I have. They are replacing what was (I’m pretty sure) a one-man shop, on the fly.
    MMoore1971, Jyll, the_rotten1 and 5 others like this.
  27. surfcaster

    surfcaster Champion (806) Apr 20, 2013 North Carolina
    Society Trader

    Let me see--hmm.

    Guys on a beer site comment on another blog site that lists another social media site's content of scantily clad women and photos of beer and questions their legitimacy. And get then fired.

    My guess is the word "chicks" was the nail in their coffin.

    I will stick to a pint in my favorite glass and ignore this crazy world we are in.
    mtangaa and Alefflicted like this.
  28. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (3,942) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    However I'd suggest that it is not a direct one to one connection.

    IIRC "influence" on Instagram is determined simply by "likes." To the best of my knowledge the Marking Research people typically use some much more meaningful and extensive metrics and measures even if they do include "liking."
    #28 drtth, Jul 26, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2019
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  29. Oktoberfiesta

    Oktoberfiesta Aspirant (266) Nov 16, 2013 New Mexico

    Are these influencers receiving free beer mail? I guess that's where my would-be long winded post would go.

    Is TH saying, we need to give boobs n booze some free beer to market to her 35k followers?

    Most seem quite organic with their posting and such. Nothing seems as obvious as those supplements and makeup name Drops you see with real IG influencers.

    Credibility can be lost as well. If boobs n booze goes from random beer posts to being very specific and throwing a certain brand down our throats, then you can assume There's some help.

    I will say. A lot of breweries don't even have a true social media or marketing team. The beer sells itself. Giving away beer to influencers doesn't seem to happening, yet.
    Sammy likes this.
  30. HouseofWortship

    HouseofWortship Defender (635) May 3, 2016 Illinois

    This is ridiculous....he disparaged the women's accounts, not women.

    It's funny how timely this is. I follow Three Floyds social media for beer release and event updates and was taken aback last week when there was FFF linked a photo of a scantily clad woman (probably a social media influencer looking for sponsors) on their twitter page posing with beer. It seemed completely out of place on a beer social media page. It also seemed extremely sexist, until you remember it isn't a guy posting it, it's the's a funny duality- if a man post it then it is sexist, if a woman posts it, it's empowering....I don't understand the world so it's probably why I drink beer.
    rodbeermunch, storm72, Sammy and 6 others like this.
  31. KarlHungus

    KarlHungus Poo-Bah (3,083) Feb 19, 2005 Minnesota

    That's how sponsored content works.
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  32. islay

    islay Aspirant (278) Jan 6, 2008 Minnesota

    Off with their heads!

    I tried to listen to the podcast in question, but it led off with an announcement that it had been updated due to offensive content. The Forbes article makes it sound quite innocuous.

    I have no problem with women in the industry using sex appeal to increase their followers and likes (and, make no mistake, some -- but not all -- of the women in that Uproxx list are doing exactly that intentionally). I also have no problem with anybody, male or female, engaging in social criticism of that practice, including light mocking, and I have no problem with others disagreeing with that criticism.

    Where I have a problem is people getting fired because of controversial things they say, especially when those statements are far from extreme and the ideas behind them fall well within the mainstream, the worst excesses of "cancel culture." This situation is a sad commentary on the state of American society in 2019.

    Caedite eos. Novit enim Twitter qui sunt eius.
  33. oldbean

    oldbean Disciple (335) Jun 30, 2005 Massachusetts

    "I, a man who took a woman's studies class twenty five years ago, am the perfect person to decide how a woman should or should not present her own body."

    Look, I don't know if this guy quite deserves the shellacking that he's received, but his commentary was bad.
  34. IPAExpert69

    IPAExpert69 Aspirant (209) Aug 2, 2017 Pennsylvania

    Honestly Instagram is a self-flagellating hellhole, that feeds into our most base instincts (like all social media honestly). Are we, at this point, shocked by the raw data statistics and the "backlash" from jealous beer pod-casters who want more likes? I mean it's a Instagram page, not the cutting edge of beer culture, if your answer isn't "Who gives a fuck? Good for these women growing their brands if that's there desire" I honestly cannot help you.
    Shanex, storm72 and the_rotten1 like this.
  35. deadwolfbones

    deadwolfbones Initiate (113) Jun 21, 2014 Oregon

    It's more determined by follower count, but both play into it. Brands buy advertising space on the accounts of influencers who have a large amount of followers, especially highly engaged followers (eg. followers who regularly stop to like photos rather than scrolling on past).
    officerbill, rozzom and drtth like this.
  36. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (3,942) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Thanks for the additional information. At the moment I'm thinking it reinforces my thinking about some of the differences between the metrics and measures used on line and in non-web based marketing research.
  37. Todd

    Todd Founder (5,646) Aug 23, 1996 California
    Staff Moderator Fest Crew

    And if someone claiming to be an "influencer" has a ton of followers and engagement, there's a good chance that it's all fake and was boosted by Instagram pods.
  38. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (3,942) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Why am I not surprised there would be people collaborating to "game" the system?
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  39. deadwolfbones

    deadwolfbones Initiate (113) Jun 21, 2014 Oregon

    Yeah, this is true, especially if the account is suspiciously new. Many "legit" influencers start off by buying followers, which gives them the toehold to legitimately acquire real followers.
    Todd likes this.
  40. Todd

    Todd Founder (5,646) Aug 23, 1996 California
    Staff Moderator Fest Crew

    You shouldn't be surprised to learn that quite a few brewery accounts belong to IG pods either.
    Sammy, drtth and deadwolfbones like this.