Marketing is one of those areas you need varying levels of creativity, and try to shoot for the lines that have a strong appealing effect to the targeted audiences. There are a whole lot of nuances that encompass marketing, and companies always try to employ that which they are sure will bring in the most returns.
However, things go a little bit controversial when certain social constructs are broken or interfered with. In today's world where sensitivity over some controversial topics has increased in great amounts, companies are really cautioned to tread with the utmost consideration of such topics.
A South African company has come under fire for branding its new range of craft beers with some sexist phrases. The reaction to such developments are capable of overwhelming a whole company into a deep hole of moral guilt. That is if the company has such considerations, after all.
There is always a feeling that when a company makes some offensive remarks, and later on issue profuse apologies for such, it really counts for nothing. The suspicion being that deep down the company have no regard for some societal values and norms, their end result is just getting money.
Vale Bru ran a marketing campaign for the beers with names such as Filthy Brunette‚ Easy Blonde‚ Raven Porra and Ripe Redhead. Easy Blonde came with the tagline: "All your friends have already had her". After being criticized for being sexist, the company promised to remove the labels and names.
Are they really sincere? 'Filthy Brunette' was advertised as "When gushing and moist are used to describe something‚ then you know." At the same time, 'Raven Porra' was described as "a porter with the best head in town". Porra is a derogatory term for someone of Portuguese origin.
A first apology published on Instagram, which was later deleted, read, "Our attempt at making you‚ and ourselves‚ uncomfortable‚ worked. However‚ we never meant to belittle or degrade you." Like, seriously, really? "If those keyboard crusaders want to carry on‚ feel free," it painfully added on.
In a new apology, Vale Bru said it took "full accountability for our actions and we plan on making things right. We were insensitive and wrong, for which we apologise unreservedly".
Do they really mean it? The general feeling would be that they are not really bothered by the remarks they made. Or so we think. Thandi Guilherme, author of the platform Craft Geek, wrote on Instagram that Vale Bru "should be absolutely ashamed of yourselves. Crass, sexist, misogynistic branding and labelling".
The corporate world can really get nasty. And in that they won't even care about your feelings. "Sex sells, but these names don't hint at respectful sex," wrote blogger Lucy Corne on her Brew Mistress website.
Header Image Credit: BBC