News South African brewery Vale Bru apologizes for sexist beer campaign

Discussion in 'Beer News & Releases' started by Shanex, Jun 8, 2018.

  1. Squire

    Squire Poo-Bah (2,014) Jul 16, 2015 Mississippi
    Premium Trader

    My, my, I'm impressed. I've never met someone who was appointed to speak for a large segment of the population.
     
  2. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Champion (841) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania
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    I'm pretty sure that all three of us can agree that sexist beer names are sophomoric at best, promoting sexual inequality at worst.
     
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  3. thesherrybomber

    thesherrybomber Initiate (47) Jun 13, 2017 California
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    To many people, "If it doesn't affect me, it isn't an issue"
     
  4. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Champion (841) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania
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    While I certainly understand that said sentiment is unfortunately prevalent in today's society, you, Squire, and I are not part of the problem.
     
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  5. Squire

    Squire Poo-Bah (2,014) Jul 16, 2015 Mississippi
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    Of course and let me make it clear that I'm talking about real beer and real women sitting at the same table and was making no reference to labels at all.
     
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  6. LambicPentameter

    LambicPentameter Poo-Bah (1,723) Aug 29, 2012 Nebraska
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    This gets so tiring. Every time there is a thread about women in craft beer (and there have been a few over the years), the conversation inevitably steers towards the following idea:

    if women aren't interested in craft beer because they just aren't partial to beer as an alcoholic beverage, should we really be working to get more women into the hobby in the name of inclusion and diversity?

    And I generally agree with the sentiment. Inclusion for inclusion's sake doesn't really help anyone. However, the next logical idea is that maybe the solution isn't about forcibly generating diversity (by pulling women, people of color into the hobby), but rather identifying areas in which people who aren't white men are made to feel uncomfortable or unwelcome, even if the lack of welcoming attitudes isn't overt or intentional.

    Or in fewer words: are there behaviors or attitudes that exist within the hobby that unintentionally make those who aren't already in the fold feel less welcome?

    And when I see a good number of the comments on this thread, the answer is an overwhelming 'yes'.

    Eh... I think it's really more about the words themselves.

    Also, let's be honest here: the problem with these beer names isn't the "sexual theme". Something being sexual isn't inherently objectifying to women. However, a beer called Easy Blonde with the tagline "All your friends have already had her" is explicitly objectifying to women, treating the fictional woman in question as a thing to be had. It's a little depressing that this has to be pointed out.

    I'm not sure what you mean by "OK", seeing as how we're not discussing some government entity banning these crass beer names. If this brewery wanted to stake their future success on courting the juvenile male crowd, then the names would be "OK" today. Although I have a feeling women (and some men) might still be a little unhappy with a beer that treats them as sexual possessions.

    I don't think that's a sound business strategy (and apparently neither does the brewery). You can segment the market without actively alienating those who are outside of your target segment. In fact, good segmentation avoids alienation when reasonably possible because you never know when a consumer may move into your target segment.

    We agree it's crass. But the only way one can view this beer as not treating women differently than men is if you ignore 1) the fact that the marketing literally names the so-called Easy Blonde as a "her", and 2) the long history of how women are talked about within the context of sex. I'm too lazy to find any hard data on this, but I imagine if you walked up to random people on the street, told them about a character named Easy Blonde and then asked them what sex the character was, MOST people are going to infer that the character is a woman.

    This is actually an interesting observation because yes, public feedback is a valuable tool for most businesses, even if that feedback is negative. That said, a rebranding effort is no small expense, even if it's limited to a single beer (which this seems to be broader than that).

    This would be an interesting bet if you could tease out people's deep-rooted feelings from whatever way they presented their opinions so as to fit with the prevailing attitudes of the time (see: attitudes of white men).
     
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  7. eldoctorador

    eldoctorador Zealot (533) Dec 12, 2014 California

    OK, what about answering the question though?
     
  8. hoptualBrew

    hoptualBrew Zealot (586) May 29, 2011 Florida

    Rebranding may cost in the short-term, but let’s be honest, it does have ROI and a breakeven point where the investment becomes profitable. In the long-run, this is cheaper than holding steadfast to terrible, crass branding that turns away sales.

    It’s just silly to shame people/businesses into things like this. A brewery that would set out to brand their products this way has an obvious company culture and ethos that does not line up with most all of the rest of the craft beer industry. You think shaming them to rebrand their products will change them as people? Change their company values? Change their ethos? Unlikely.

    It’s like a public figure who scripted, rehearsed, and delivered a sexist comment to the public who is shamed into apologizing. What is the point of the apology? You know damn well it is not authentic. That comment was thoroughly premeditated and is the conviction of the person who spoke it. So we force an apology so they can continue to have their platform? No thank you. Would rather take people for who they are, and companies for what they are, and vote with my dollar. Let the market reject them, and their branding, with the almighty dollar (or Rand in SA).
     
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  9. tzieser

    tzieser Savant (981) Nov 21, 2006 New Jersey
    Trader

    Interesting. it really makes you wonder if some of these beer labels could be released in 2018 without social backlash...my guess is "no"

    [​IMG]
    [h/t The Beer Gatherer]

    [​IMG]
    [h/t beermenus.com]

    [​IMG]
    [h/t KegWorks]

    Shit, now that I think about it, Haverhill actually did end up caving to the PC pressure and released this less offensive label after their relaunch as "The Tap". I can't help but roll my eyes whenever I see it. (FWIW, I used to roll my eyes at the old label too so I guess not much changed in that regard :laughing:)

    [​IMG]
    [h/t beerpulse.com]
    :rolling_eyes:
     
    #49 tzieser, Jun 12, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2018
  10. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Champion (841) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania
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    No, those names would still not be OK, though they might be profitable, very unfortunately, if marketed correctly. As you very well know, ethics and profitability are often inversely proportional.
     
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  11. Latverian43

    Latverian43 Initiate (0) Jun 10, 2018 Kentucky


    I have to disagree friend .racism is rooted in hate and those who practice it intend to harm others. .verbally or physically.

    I doubt when this brewery named these brews they did not do so with hate or malice in their hearts
     
  12. eldoctorador

    eldoctorador Zealot (533) Dec 12, 2014 California

    OK. Thanks for answering. Should there be a law banning those names or similar? Or is it just your opinion?
     
  13. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Champion (841) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania
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    You don't find any misogyny in them? I beg to differ.
     
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  14. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Champion (841) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania
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    If it were up to me, yeah, I'd like to see those types of things banned. Then again, I'd like to see hop puns banned, too. Never been one for censorship, but I just feel a lot of the naming and art in the beer world is simply subpar. In the end, as long as they meet the TTB requirements, there's little anyone can do besides complain about them after the fact.
     
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  15. eldoctorador

    eldoctorador Zealot (533) Dec 12, 2014 California

    Sounds good. Seems we agree
     
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  16. Klister

    Klister Aspirant (200) Oct 27, 2010 Maine

    Whil[​IMG]e I agree with your thoughts, where is the line? You and the beer you are named over has one of the most offensive names to all who seek "the answer." Me, I take all this including poor religious references with the grain of salt with which it was intended.
     
  17. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Champion (841) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania
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    How is using the name "Jesus" offensive? How is it denigrating to anyone?
     
  18. stevesbeer

    stevesbeer Initiate (105) May 17, 2016 Washington

    But if we didn't get offended by everything everyone does, how could we assert how superior we obviously are!?!? :joy:
     
  19. Dan_K

    Dan_K Devotee (482) Nov 8, 2013 Colorado
    Trader

    Looks like Middle Ages Brewing Company still lists Wailing Wench as one of the core beers.
     
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  20. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Champion (841) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania
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    There's a difference between being offended by sexism and racism and being offended by things that masquerade as those things. For instance, a picture of a woman on a beer label and/or a female name of a beer, isn't sexist, but a picture of a scantily clad woman on a beer label with a name like "Babbling Blonde" or "Morning Wood" or "Roll in the Hay" is. There's a difference and I think you know that.
     
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  21. stevesbeer

    stevesbeer Initiate (105) May 17, 2016 Washington

    Indeed I do. And I simply think if that is the decision the company wishes to make, that the market will decide with their wallets, and that will be that. I'm just not a grab the torches and go on a crusade for every cause that comes up. They would figure out their dropping sales numbers might have something to do with their choices, and either adapt to what the market wants, or they will sink.
     
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  22. ONovoMexicano

    ONovoMexicano Poo-Bah (2,821) Jun 14, 2012 New Mexico

    If we simply let people vote with their wallets we'd still be seeing slave auctions south of the Mason-Dixon. Letting people vote with their wallets, does that apply to child porn and prostitution also? Buying heroine and meth?

    "Let people vote with their wallets" strikes me as people unaffected by an issue, bothered that other people are affected in some fashion and thus need to show their indignation at those bothered by finding a trite way of dismissing the whole issue.
     
  23. TrojanRB

    TrojanRB Meyvn (1,190) Jul 27, 2013 California
    Premium Trader

    Uhhh...you are wrong on so, so many levels.

    But yea, another “think of the children” moment that isn’t well thought out or articulated.

    I think you and @EvenMoreJesus must be alter egos.
     
  24. TrojanRB

    TrojanRB Meyvn (1,190) Jul 27, 2013 California
    Premium Trader

    Many people would consider your avatar sacrilege. Thoughts?
     
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  25. Klister

    Klister Aspirant (200) Oct 27, 2010 Maine

    Your name is EvenMoreJesus. More people have died in the name of Jesus than any other reason I can think of, maybe its topped by killing for oil. So in a world populated by what 75% non Christians, can a more offensive name exist? To some group of people your name screams:

    "We need more crusades."

    "Damn it Mohammad you need even more Jesus and I will force it upon you."

    Furthermore there is a large percentage of Christianity, that would be offended by using the Lords name in vain. Really your name could be construed as offensive to all of the Worlds population except for white supremacists. That seems worse to me that some tasteless beer labels.

    I am quite sure you do not identify with these sentiments, my comment is point out that some percentage of people can find offense in anything. Why is your sense of propriety correct?
     
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  26. poopinmybutt

    poopinmybutt Initiate (104) May 25, 2005 Nebraska

    please, won't somebody think of the people offended by the name and avatar of beeradvocate forum user EvenMoreJesus
     
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  27. MistaRyte

    MistaRyte Devotee (422) Jan 14, 2008 Virginia
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    If you're offended by the name Jesus... boy are you gonna hate a lot of Hispanic names... seriously.
     
  28. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Champion (841) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania
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    If you're offended by my screen name, wait 'til you read the stuff I post. :innocent:
     
  29. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Champion (841) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania
    Premium Trader

    Probably, but those people probably aren't worth talking to, so I'm OK with it. Plus, it's pretty widely accepted among historians that the guy might have not even existed and his life is simply an amalgam of stories taken from other religions. So there's that.
     
  30. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Champion (841) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania
    Premium Trader

    Do you really want to travel this road? If so, you'd better bone up on your history, because long before Jesus was supposedly born, people were killing other people in the name of a God or gods. Gods are a way that humans make sense of things that they can not explain. Religion, however, is a way for those in power to manipulate those whom they govern.

    If people have an issue with my screen name, take it up with Evil Twin, not me. I simply thought it apropos of some of my previous incarnations on this site.

    Sure, people can and will find offense in anything because they feel as if it makes them important. My sense of propriety is correct because it's mine. Just like yours is because it is yours. Everyone's free to have their own opinion. That said, it's a bad look if your opinion doesn't at least have SOME solid logic behind it, which most people's don't, from what I can tell.
     
  31. Dan_K

    Dan_K Devotee (482) Nov 8, 2013 Colorado
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  32. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Champion (841) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania
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    At the risk of getting this thread WAY off topic, I agree with most of what you're saying, save the bit about WWII not being about oil. That's not true. Especially in the Pacific Theater.