Crackdown on sexist and lewd beer labels in US craft scene

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Sexist craft beer labels look set to disappear from UK shelves, following a crackdown on offensive packaging by the leading US trade body for independent brewers.

The Brewers Association (BA) has updated its Advertising & Marketing Code to address issues surrounding beer marketing with sexually explicit, lewd or demeaning brand names, images and logos.

Many BA member craft breweries export to the UK as part of its Export Development Programme (EDP) for small brewers, including Flying Dog, which has its beers listed in Tesco and Asda, although the brand’s controversial Raging Bitch IPA and Pearl Necklace Oyster Stout are not listed with any of the mults.

The BA’s new code does not hold any legal sway over offending brewers, but those that win BA medals and awards will be disallowed from using the association’s intellectual property to promote their products, which chief executive Bob Pease said he hoped would lead “to a wider conversation about beer labels around the world.”

UK drinks watchdog The Portman Group welcomed the move. “It demonstrates that drinks companies are taking proactive steps to ensure their products are promoted responsibly whilst supporting innovative and creative marketing,” said a spokesman.

The UK is now the second largest export market for American craft beer, with exports rising 4.4% over the last year, according to the latest BA figures.

“Some brewers and beer marketers seem to think it is good business to use sexualised images, lewd or insulting language in their branding but it is the opposite,” said beer writer Jane Peyton.

“It is not only women who boycott those brewers but countless men do too - then there are also lost sales from retailers that refuse to stock those beers in the first place.

“The dinosaurs that think it is a good idea to use branding as an excuse to indulge in last century’s ‘Carry On’ attitudes will go out of businesss.”

Readers' comments (1)

  • I completely agree with eliminating crude and sexual labeling for something everyone can love and enjoy--craft beer! Producers need to realize that it is critical to evaluate and research your target markets annually at the very least. Your targets are always changing and as they change, you must change too or you will lose profit. Packaging is the voice of your brand, and it will either make or break you: https://www.standuppouches.net/blog/why-alcohol-pouches-will-revolutionize-the-craft-beer-industry

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