A Beer Company Tried To Take On Gender Inequality, With Embarrassing Results

The "ironic" use of sexism is hardly a groundbreaking marketing tactic – Yorkie's old "it's not for girls" tagline dates back to 2001, for example – but despite the cultural landscape having changed unrecognisably since then, companies still use it to flog their products.
Sometimes it's well received – like Cards Against Humanity's pink 'For Her' edition – but often these campaigns backfire spectacularly. The most common argument against them being that "ironic" sexism is still sexism.
So it comes as no surprise that beer company Brewdog is facing a momentous backlash over its attempt at tackling gender inequality with a "satirical" new campaign and product: a pink "Beer for Girls".
Launched just in time for International Women's Day on 8th March, a fact specifically referred to in a company blog post, the Pink IPA is the exact same product as its blue-branded Punk IPA but fashioned with a lurid pink label. The aim, apparently, is to "[take] on the global scourge of gender pay inequality and combating sexist marketing" by, er, engaging in that very same marketing tactic.
"At BrewDog, we have always believed that beer is for everyone, and equality is a fundamental right. So today we are launching a clarion call to end the discrimination of gender pay inequality. In the UK men earn on average 20% more than women. And that’s not ok," the post reads, before saying the company hoped to "expose sexist marketing to women".
On top of the new launch, the company will give 20% of the the proceeds from the Pink IPA and its original Punk IPA sold over the next four weeks to charities fighting for gender equality, as well as a 20% discount to customers who identify as women at its bars.
While Brewdog may have had good intentions and clearly says on its website that the campaign is an "overt parody on the failed, tone-deaf campaigns that some brands have attempted in order to attract women," they haven't quite succeeded, to put it kindly.
Many people on social media said the company missed the mark completely, that it shouldn't be capitalising on the gender pay gap at all, and slammed it for cynically jumping on the gender equality bandwagon to sell beer.
Others suggested simpler and arguably more effective ways in which the company could have gone about reducing gender inequality, rather than launching a new product and campaign to promote itself.
Others criticised it from a marketing perspective, claiming the messaging was unclear and contradictory and wouldn't translate well on condensed social media platforms (well, quite). Meanwhile, others described it as "lazy" and said it suggested a lack of women in key decision-making positions.
Others just seemed bemused by a stunt from a company that has been criticised for sexism before. (Remember its "Trashy Blonde" ale from 2011? The company described it as a "titillating, neurotic, peroxide punk of a pale ale" that combined "attitude, style substance and a little bit of low self esteem for good measure". The product description continued: "You really should just leave it alone, but you just can’t get the compulsive malt body and gorgeous dirty blonde colour out of your head." We have no words.)
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