Canadian brewery accused of misogynistic marketing of Dirty Blonde beer
A Nova Scotia brewery is coming under fire over a questionable marketing campaign it launched for one of its most popular beer releases, the Dirty Blonde Weizen.
The wheat beer may or may not have been named and marketed exclusively by and for men, with promotional phrases such as "we'd like you to meet another blonde from Dartmouth" and "everybody loves a dirty blonde from Dartmouth," which have been emblazoned on billboards and t-shirts.
A woman in the industry has provided specific examples of how this beer name has made her feel unsafe, objectified, or otherwise creeped out. This beer is actively helping shitty people be shitty to women, and you have evidence.— Ben Johnson (@Ben_T_Johnson) November 26, 2019
Advertising materials from the Halifax-area brewery Nine Locks also include slogans like "blondes have more fun."
Basically, the innuendo is pretty blatant, and female bartenders who've had to serve the beer have had enough of the sexism that the brew's name and marketing have inspired.
One employee of a Halifax bar told the CBC that patrons have taken the beer's somewhat provocative name as an opportunity to make lewd comments like "are you served up in the glass?" and "I'd really like a dirty blonde, if you know what I mean" when ordering it.
There is never a shortage of people who want to try to downplay other people's negative experiences via comments-- if it doesn't affect you, keep scrolling, and pay no mind-- the beer will still be available! The ad campaign change will not affect your life.— Matt McNair (@MattMcNair4) November 26, 2019
Responses on social media are mixed, with many saying the complaints of misogyny are just another instance of millennial cancel culture gone out of control, and others begging that people not belittle experiences they have not and likely will not have to endure or understand (as men).
Many men don't care for the ad campaign, either. Many of the breweries that signed the petition are owned by both men and women, so it is not just one woman who is unhappy with their ads. Perhaps you, too, should find a real issue to complain about =)— Matt McNair (@MattMcNair4) November 26, 2019
Others in the industry have agreed that the beer's advertising is problematic — 40 people from 17 different breweries across the province wrote a letter to the Craft Brewers Association of Nova Scotia asking the body to step in against the "discriminatory and misogynistic" language surrounding the beer.
Nine Locks staff told the CBC that they never had any bad intentions to offend and will be tossing the beer's current marketing campaign but keeping the brew's name, noting that a dirty blonde is a legitimate beer style.
a beer doesn't have to be called "dirty blonde" for men to make gross comments to female servers tbqh. men are just gross and nine locks did some tacky marketing.— anna 🎄 (@carolianna_) November 26, 2019
There's certainly no problem with having a little fun with your marketing, but as a stakeholder in a largely male-dominated scene that isn't known to be the friendliest toward women, it would have been prudent for Nine Locks to consider the potential implications on certain members of its industry.
It seems that this beer and its campaign could have used a little more forethought.
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