The Brewers Association recently announced an amendment to their marketing and advertising guidelines, taking a stand against what John Holl, Editor of All About Beer Magazine, calls, "offensive, sexist branding." The announcement was made in addition to their new initiative to advance the diversity in the craft brewing community.
The two lines added to the code state that marketing and advertising materials should not “contain sexually explicit, lewd or demeaning brand names, language, text, graphics, photos, video or other images that reasonable adult consumers would find inappropriate for consumer products offered to the public.”
According to IndyStar, under these new guidelines, while controversial beer brands will still be able to be submitted for awards at the World Beer Cup or Great American Beer Festival, if found guilty of breaking the code, "they will not be allowed to use the association in any way to market that beer."
To avoid these repercussions, beer brands will be looking to update their identities in a less offensive manner. A recent example the industry has seen of this is Route 2's popular beer, Leg Spreader, which previously featured an illustration largely critiqued as, "sexist and objectifying to women." The label has been redesigned sans the scrutinized imagery.
While some breweries fear that this change will be a set back to hard work they've put into building their identities, refreshing the visual aesthetic and messaging of their brand could mean an overarching growth opportunity for their business. If done right, the cleanliness of their marketing and advertising efforts will appeal to a larger audience, without compromising the authenticity of their brand's story.
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