Drinks watchdog the Portman Group has been accused of treating beer drinkers like “brain-dead zombies” by Scottish firm BrewDog, which has issued an apology for not “giving a shit” about breaking its marketing rules.
BrewDog, whose brands include Trashy Blonde is rarely far from controversy, has issued a statement after the Portman Group announced that the firm’s Dead Pony Club pale ale is in breach of the alcohol marketing code.
The watchdog ruled that marketing phrases such as “rip it up down empty streets” and “we believe faster is better” on the brand’s packaging breached its code because they linked drinking alcohol with “bravado and immoderate consumption”. The organisation has asked UK retailers to stop selling the brand after July 8.
But James Watt, co-founder of BrewDog, commented: “On behalf of BrewDog PLC and its 14,691 individual shareholders, I would like to issue a formal apology to the Portman Group for not giving a shit about today’s ruling. Indeed, we are sorry for never giving a shit about anything the Portman Group has to say, and treating all of its statements with callous indifference and nonchalance.”
“Unfortunately, the Portman Group is a gloomy gaggle of killjoy jobsworths, funded by navel-gazing international drinks giants. Their raison d’être is to provide a diversion for the true evils of this industry, perpetrated by the gigantic faceless brands that pay their wages. Blinkered by this soulless mission, they treat beer drinkers like brain dead zombies and vilify creativity and competition. Therefore, we have never given a second thought to any of the grubby newspeak they disseminate periodically.
“While the Portman Group lives out its days deliberating whether a joke on a bottle of beer is responsible or irresponsible use of humour, at BrewDog we will just get on with brewing awesome beer and treating our customers like adults. I’m sure that makes Henry Ashworth cry a salty tear into his shatterproof tankard of Directors as he tries to enforce his futile and toothless little marketing code, but we couldn’t give a shit about that, either.”
“We sincerely hope that the sarcasm of this message fits the Portman Group criteria of responsible use of humour,” he added.
Last year, BrewDog was slammed by the Advertising Standards Authority after a single complaint was upheld against the foul language used on its website, including the phrase, “BrewDog is a post Punk apocalyptic mother fu*ker of a craft brewery”.
Never one to be outdone, the brewer then responded by saying: “We have thousands of craft beer fans who have invested in what we do and how we do it – they are the people we listen to – not the killjoy, self-important pen pushers at the ASA in their Burton suits. Those mother fuckers don’t have any jurisdiction over us anyway.”
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