BrewDog accused of stealing marketing ideas

Discussion in 'Beer News & Releases' started by wesbray, May 12, 2019.

  1. MNAle

    MNAle Meyvn (1,444) Sep 6, 2011 Minnesota
    Society

    I wasn't addressing what you are "getting at" either before or now. I was addressing the implication that "we" (via Torches and Pitchforks Nation) are due any "proof" of anything from the person. We aren't.
     
  2. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (3,851) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    OK.

    Well my curiousity arises from the fact that at least a portion of my career has been engaged in both consulting and IP work (both patents and copyrights) and based on that appendix you quoted she's owed for her IP only if it is used by the folks she's dealing with. So far the only claims we've seen of appropriation of IP we seem to have seen are from the Marketing Firm whose thread started all this brouhaha. If in fact she was doing a job interview and producing/showing a work sample as part of a Talent Assessment being conducted through that interview she's owed only expenses. So until she produces credible evidence that BD used her material....
     
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  3. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (3,851) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Right, why should we let anything interfere with heating up the tar.
     
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  4. William_Navidson

    William_Navidson Initiate (143) May 1, 2015 Pennsylvania
    Trader

    Ah, gotcha. Thanks for clarifying. I agree, sorry for misunderstanding. I thought this was more of a "how dare Twitter criticize this multinational corporation before seeing all of the evidence!!!!" situations, which is what I took issue with.
     
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  5. officerbill

    officerbill Aspirant (227) Feb 9, 2019 New York
    Society Trader

    Sometimes marketing needs to be prominent.

    BA lists 10,432 American IPA's with a score of 4 or higher. If you are introducing a new "4 level" IPA and are directly competing with only 1% of those beers you still need to do something to make your new beer stand out from over 100 others and marketing becomes just as, if not more, important as the beer itself; even if it's only an eye-catching can or label.
     
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  6. William_Navidson

    William_Navidson Initiate (143) May 1, 2015 Pennsylvania
    Trader

    Right. So once again -- no explicit contract necessary, and BrewDog is disallowed from using her material. I don't know for sure whether BD has done so.
     
  7. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (3,851) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    When I follow the link I get the most recent tweet and a big box over part of the screen that tells me I need to log in or create an account. So no, I don't know I can. But thanks for the information. Maybe I'll try again.
     
  8. William_Navidson

    William_Navidson Initiate (143) May 1, 2015 Pennsylvania
    Trader

    Nobody is trying to diminish the significance of marketing. I think many craft beer enthusiasts are simply irked that the marketing is taking prominence over the beer itself, as appears to be the case here.
     
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  9. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (3,851) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    We have agreement on that. It was a job interview. They don't use her material or pay consulting fees. They user her material they pay for the IP use.

    Since we don't know whether BD has done so, use her material, we're dealling with an internet flash mob. The good old internet where misinformation and outrage spread faster than what really happened and why.
     
  10. William_Navidson

    William_Navidson Initiate (143) May 1, 2015 Pennsylvania
    Trader

    Or, we're dealing with a scenario in which many on the internet are criticizing them for, among other things, misleadingly cropping an invoice to imply that the creative was only seeking money (instead of seeking to preserve her IP rights)... and criticizing them for their hilariously disingenuous marketing strategies... and criticizing for prioritizing branding over their beer and for for unironically using the term "equity punks" (lol).

    I don't think it's too early to criticize them for any of those things. Do you? And I agree that many are taking it a step further and inferring (based on things like James's past dealings, his present handling of the situation, and anecdotes) that BD is guilty of misusing creatives' work here too. I don't think this inference is very far-fetched. Do you? I hesitate to state it as a concrete fact of course -- but surely you can see why some people think that it's very likely the case, right?
     
  11. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,007) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Society

    To the best of my ability to follow the social media discussion she is still owed $700 for the expenses of airfare. Or has that topic been resolved?

    Cheers!
     
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  12. officerbill

    officerbill Aspirant (227) Feb 9, 2019 New York
    Society Trader

    But that's not what's happening in this case.
    This person had nothing to do with the beer itself.
    Beerdog already knew what they wanted to make and their target consumer. All the linked article and invoice talk about are marketing strategies, labeling, and packaging to "shake up" the NA market with a product Beerdog had already developed.
     
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  13. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (3,851) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Yes, I see the concerns, but I'm cursed with having made enough bad judgement calls in my life that I tend to reserve my evaluative judgments until I've seen the evidence.

    Also I've seen enough negative stuff about Brewdog on this site and on the internet that turned out to be false or have absolutely no basis in that I reserved judgment and deal with each situation on a case by case basis.

    Finally, in my experience, in situations where one can attribute evil intent or stupidity, it's stupidity which works best as an explanation more often than not.
     
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  14. William_Navidson

    William_Navidson Initiate (143) May 1, 2015 Pennsylvania
    Trader

    I understand not wanting to make a final, concrete call on whether BD misused a creative's work without compensating them -- I totally understand that camp. But there's plenty of evidence to criticize BD for the other complaints I listed, right?
     
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  15. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (3,851) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    What we've seen so far, not clear, but there is a comment from Brewdog that she will be paid that much.
     
  16. William_Navidson

    William_Navidson Initiate (143) May 1, 2015 Pennsylvania
    Trader

    I hear you. I was under the impression that BD was being credibly accused of wanting to formulate a marketing strategy first and brewing a beer to fit that strategy second... but I can see why that might have been a misunderstanding on my part.
     
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  17. stevepat

    stevepat Zealot (595) Mar 12, 2013 California
    Trader

    She isn't claiming they used any of her ideas, she appears to simply be chiming to say that they conduct their 'interview' process in a way that seems designed to extract free creative labor from prospective hires.
     
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  18. eldoctorador

    eldoctorador Zealot (599) Dec 12, 2014 California

    I can just say that ...I'm glad I've never had a beer from them
     
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  19. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (3,851) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Right. That's my reading of it as well. And that is exactly the point of a "Talent Assessment" interview, which as I pointed out in a post above, is not all that unusual these days. Her chiming in with that can also be seen as an measure of her inexperience with being interviewed for such job openings.
     
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  20. eldoctorador

    eldoctorador Zealot (599) Dec 12, 2014 California

    Her inexperience with being stolen?

    Are we reading the same articles? Jesus
     
  21. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (3,851) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Her inexperience with job interviewing.

    I guess we're not reading the same stuff because she has not said, anywhere I've seen, that her experience was stolen. She has said if her IP is used she should be paid the full amount of the invoice.

    The claim of IP theft (experience) is being made by someone else entirely.
     
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  22. William_Navidson

    William_Navidson Initiate (143) May 1, 2015 Pennsylvania
    Trader

    And we're in agreement that James, the owner of a multinational corporation, cropped the invoice and posted it misleadingly to portray her in a negative light, implying that she was flat-out seeking the payment on the invoice, right?... (which seems to have worked to a degree even given the correction, given this thread)
     
  23. Roguer

    Roguer Poo-Bah (4,119) Mar 25, 2013 Georgia
    Moderator Society Trader

    I disagree. This is a question for someone applying specifically for a marketing position. This in no way suggests that they get their ideas of what to brew from a marketer vice a brewer.

    The job of someone in advertising is to create advertising. This is a perfectly reasonable task to test an applicant's ability to create useful advertising - why ask them to create a launch platform for beers that already exist? The assumption should be that those beers already have had successful campaigns, not that their marketing has utterly failed. (Unless perhaps that's what Buick did with their modern campaign, which seemed to be launched with the intent to suggest that Buicks used to suck, but maybe they don't now. Always found that odd.)

    Now, if this appeared somewhere in their corporate philosophy or credo, you'd be on to something. If, posted around the BrewDog facilities, are one page vision statements, which talk more about how to market their attitude than about how to brew great beer? That would be a clear indication of their skewed priorities.
     
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  24. oldbean

    oldbean Disciple (323) Jun 30, 2005 Massachusetts

    Corporations won’t ever love you back, guys.
     
  25. Roguer

    Roguer Poo-Bah (4,119) Mar 25, 2013 Georgia
    Moderator Society Trader

    Well it's two different issues being argued there. She is posting a breakdown on hourly costs for things like Skype sessions which, if part of the interview process, aren't something for which you can normally charge (you haven't been hired, you have no contract, you have no hourly wage).

    Separately, if they used any of the ideas obtained from her pitch through that interview process, they are still her IP - again, no contract, not an employee, her ideas do not belong to the company.

    So one can very well argue that using the "Punk AF" - ostensibly taken from a pitch meeting that they rejected (from a different agency) - is stealing IP, while also maintaining that Ms. Frankart is barking up the wrong tree by trying to charge for the interview process - with the exception of asking for hotel and flight compensation, which was apparently agreed to by BrewDog.

    (The length of the "interview process" - 5 months! - and whether or not she is claiming IP theft as well are not issues I am defending here.)
     
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  26. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (3,851) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    No, we're in agreement that cropping occurred. Motivation is still inferred.
     
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  27. Roguer

    Roguer Poo-Bah (4,119) Mar 25, 2013 Georgia
    Moderator Society Trader

    Or evidence that this invoice constituted an agreement, for that matter? Normally, invoices are provided after the work (to properly account for hours, flights, etc.). You don't normally bill someone for an exact amount of work unless you have, you know, actually done that amount of work.

    If you throw that statement onto your invoice, and it wasn't part of the estimate you provided up front (which can be just as formal and contractual in nature), then you can't very well claim that the client is legally bound to obey it. If that was part of the process all along, that's different, but I haven't seen that - nor, as you mentioned, any claim by her of IP theft.
     
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  28. William_Navidson

    William_Navidson Initiate (143) May 1, 2015 Pennsylvania
    Trader

    Please lol. This comment does not feel like it's being posted in good faith. Once again, the post was accompanied by the following:

    Have you ever charged a company for preparing for & attending an interview? An unsuccessful candidate recently submitted to us a hefty invoice for their time during a job application process. We refused to pay (other than transport). The internet went into meltdown.

    You're sincerely okay with suggesting that BD posted this with some motivation other than to portray the applicant as unfairly requesting money, and that it was cropped with some intention other than to obscure the fact that the applicant wanted to preserve her IP rights?... Really?
     
  29. Roguer

    Roguer Poo-Bah (4,119) Mar 25, 2013 Georgia
    Moderator Society Trader

    Well, yes - and I see why @drtth is suggesting we don't know the motivation.

    It circles back to the fact that Ms. Frankart has not suggested - as far as anyone here has shown - any IP theft, only unpaid "labor."

    If there is no assertion by her that her IP was stolen, why would BD feel the need to cover up her desire to preserve her IP rights? As part of the larger, more broad defense against the earlier charge of IP theft (over Punk AF, by another party)?

    That's certainly plausible, but in no way certain or proven. Assuming that must be the motivation is quite literally the definition of an inference - and one that may be proven to be correct in the long run, but right now, an inference.
     
  30. William_Navidson

    William_Navidson Initiate (143) May 1, 2015 Pennsylvania
    Trader

    Sure, sorry if you misunderstood -- I wasn't suggesting that it wasn't a literal inference. My point was that his or her comment suggesting that it is not reasonable to infer James's motivation sounds like it's in bad faith. What other potentially plausible inference would you draw from the combination of the post, the picture, and the text?

    It's not certain or proven that there isn't a dragon in my closet right now (I haven't been in there in a few days), but based on context clues and surrounding factual circumstances it is reasonable to infer that there is not. Really difficult to see the point of pushing back against my above point?...
     
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  31. Newport_beerguy

    Newport_beerguy Zealot (532) Feb 24, 2011 Rhode Island

    I may be backwards on the twitter thread, but what I get is BrewDog James posted his complaint/accusation first. The marketer is pointing out he snipped the part of the invoice saying if not paid the IP belongs to her. This is a fairly reasonable request. Less than $5,000 is pretty cheap to get a bunch of ideas, they didn't even have to make her a permanent employee, pay overhead like healthcare, etc. Just that payment and free to use whatever!

    I don't know where people are coming from defending BrewDog in this case...
     
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  32. pwdbyhops

    pwdbyhops Initiate (196) Apr 1, 2015 Ohio
    Trader

    Are you referring to the invoice that was sent AFTER the entire ordeal? You do realize that the unilateral terms of an invoice sent AFTER the work is done do not constitute a contract unless the recipient accepts the terms?
     
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  33. pwdbyhops

    pwdbyhops Initiate (196) Apr 1, 2015 Ohio
    Trader

    While it may seem to be a reasonable request, it is not an agreement (or contract) between the parties.
     
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  34. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,007) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Society

    According to the invoice she flew to Columbus on Nov. 7 (2018 I presume). That is over 7 months ago. Why is this still not paid by now? Is this a proper business practice?

    Cheers!
     
  35. pwdbyhops

    pwdbyhops Initiate (196) Apr 1, 2015 Ohio
    Trader

    You have to read the whole thread and catch up. The gist is that she is charging the invoice to make up for what she feels is IP theft keenly disguised as a "job interview" (that's her allegation at least)
     
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  36. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (3,851) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Here’s the problem I see. I’m raising questions-issues and looking for evidence, you are defending your judgement by assuming I’m defending BrewDog and then using your value judgment and beliefs about big corporations and such things as the BrewDog image and marketing to assert your own correctness.

    Enjoy the rest of your day.
     
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  37. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,007) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Society

    I will concentrate on the unpaid airfare for the moment since my understanding is this is a legitimate item to be invoiced and should be paid by BrewDog.

    The whole topic of whether IP was 'stolen' seems to be a more nebulous topic (unless you have definitive and sourced information that BrewDog did indeed utilize the lady's IP?).

    Cheers!
     
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  38. William_Navidson

    William_Navidson Initiate (143) May 1, 2015 Pennsylvania
    Trader

    I take the statement I quoted less as attempting to create an ironclad contract and more so reminding BD that the ideas presented in the interview process rightfully belong to her. Again, not in the IP field myself so I'll defer if anyone else has expertise -- but peers in the field typically recommend sending a follow up after interviews like this one in order to remind employers that "Hey, thanks for the interview... I enjoyed discussing my suggestions X, Y, and Z" for this very purpose.
     
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  39. Newport_beerguy

    Newport_beerguy Zealot (532) Feb 24, 2011 Rhode Island

    That's a fair assessment, although I am not talking court of law standard here. My assertion of lack of defense of BrewDog was on the "being an asshole" level. As in, BrewDog appeared to stiff this marketer on the travel expenses they committed to reimburse and that combined with the other marketers' stories she heard about encouraged this person to draft an invoice; maybe not enforceable legally, but putting BD on notice that "I see what you are doing". You could say it is a dick-ish move, sure. But then BD one-upped the dick-ishness on their end by snipping the invoice to purposely misrepresent this and sharing it with the world.
     
  40. pwdbyhops

    pwdbyhops Initiate (196) Apr 1, 2015 Ohio
    Trader

    agreed 100%
     
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